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Review: The Grinch Who Stole Christmas

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By John Baggett

It’s just beginning, the holiday season. Allow me, please, to give you a reason, to check out a show filled with holiday cheer that will make you grin from ear to ear. (Okay, how did Dr. Suess make a living doing this?) Anyway, gather the family and head to Pollard Theater Center for their production of “Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” (Seriously, rhyming is hard.)

Based on the classic book. “Grinch” is the story of the grumpy titular character, played here by Vincent Gregory, who hates Christmas with an absolute passion. His neighbors, the Citizens of Whoville, feel the exact opposite about the holiday, declaring it their favorite holiday ever. The dastardly Grinch, along with his dog, Max (Lilly Jane Boulden), comes up with a plan to ruin the holiday for all of the Whos in Whoville. However, his plan leads him to learn that Christmas is more than what he thinks it is.

The Pollard Production is a quick but delightful evening out. In an hour, they bring Seuss’s book to life as well as open with a lengthy melody of Christmas carols to get you in the holiday spirit. The production is directed by Arnold Sherman, who has brought to life such productions as “South Pacific” and the upcoming run of “The Music Man” in March.

Sherman assembled a wonderful cast of students from third through eighth grade to round out his cast. The show is narrated by Breezy Bishop, Zane Lee, Violet Schomerusm and Q’orianka Wvalle, all of who doing a fantastic job. Gregory hams it up nicely as The Grinch, along with Bolden who is adorable as Max. Evy Suberbielle does a wonderful job as Cindy-Lou Who, who helps bring heart to the show (and The Grinch).

The Citizens of Whoville are depicted by Chylar Whorton (Bill-Dru Who), Joshua Medcalf (Sammy-Joe Who), Conleigh Rose Burgess (Gracie-Mae Who), Zoe-Paige Lee (Lucy-Anne Who), MaKenzie Benton (Sallie-Bea Who), Aracely Perez (Sophie-Lea Who), Alyssa Caraway (Sadie-Rea Who), Juliette Orta (Suzie-Que Who), and last but not least, Zephan Lee as the Mayor of Whoville. All of them work together very well, making the show adorable and entertaining

“How the Grinch Stole Christmas” is a great way to start the holiday season. With only a one week run of the production, I would advise acting fast and seeing the show. Otherwise, your heart might not grow two sizes this holiday season.

“How the Grinch Stole Christmas” opens on Thursday, December 5, and runs through Saturday, December 7 at Pollard Theater Center, 3030 Copeland Road in Tyler.  For tickets go to showtix4u.com.

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Cowan Center: “Escape Margaritaville” Opens 2020-2021 Season

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Wondering what is showing at the Cowan Center? 

There’s nothing like opening a season with a fun show and a member party for the ages! No better theme than Jimmy Buffett music, an escape to Margaritaville, and a pre-party for Cowan Center Circle members!

“I think we all deserve some social time with our friends and like-minded Broadway fans,” said Susan Thomae-Morphew, UT Tyler Cowan Center Executive Director.

“This is our 24th Season! We can’t believe it either! We promise to have lots of great talent again and will be gearing up as we celebrate a quarter of a century soon. Over the next 2 years we will be developing programming for new target audiences and upgrading our premiere venue known across the state and beyond as a magnet for amazing artists and shows.”

“The Cowan Center Circle is the lifeblood of the Cowan Center’s service and success. Your membership support is needed now more than ever before. We have big plans and want to make you proud of this wonderful asset we share with so many. It is with you that we reach high and provide the best for our community, state and region.”

“We ask you to renew your membership, consider an upgrade, and invite friends to jump into the Cowan Center family. We want to fill the house every show and share the magic of live performance. Help us reach for the stars and come see some on stage, too!”

“We are grateful for each and every one of you. I can’t wait to see you all again!”

All events are performed in the Cowan Center located on the campus of The University of Texas at Tyler, 3900 University Boulevard – FAC 1120 in Tyler, TX (Google Map).

QUESTIONS? Call (903)566.7424. More information and TICKETS can also be found at CowanCenter.org. Watch for announcements on Cowan’s Facebook and Twitter pages too.

 

Upcoming acts are:

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From Tyler Civic Theatre: Announcements & The Future

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ANNOUNCEMENTS FROM TYLER CIVIC THEATRE CENTER CONCERNING COVID-19

 Announcement Regarding  The Mark Twain Show

We are saddened to announce the cancellation of The Mark Twain Show at TCTC. But, this is the best and safest decision for our actors and our patrons due to the continued spread of COVID-19 and based on the latest recommendations by the CDC. We are happy to provide those who have already purchased tickets a refund. Please contact our box office during business hours.

Announcement Regarding  Just So Stories 

Just So Stories at TCTC has been postponed indefinitely. We hope there will be potential during the month of May to put this show back on stage, but we are unable to make any promises about upcoming shows at this time. Please understand this is the best and safest decision for our actors and our patrons based on the latest recommendations by the CDC. Please follow our Facebook page for updates regarding Just So Stories.

Announcement Regarding  Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Tyler Civic Theater Center has modified plans for Breakfast at Tiffany’s auditions by Facebook Messenger video chat. Details follow, but we are proceeding with cautious optimism for our final season production.

Meanwhile, Just So Stories is waiting in the wings with set pieces in place and costumes hanging in the dressing rooms. Obviously, no one knows what the next days or weeks will look like, but we will be prepared to go when it is safe to do so – that’s what theater people do!

If you plan to audition and are Facebook friends with DeAnna Hargrove, simply send her a FB private message to be scheduled anytime between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Tuesday. If you are not yet friends, now’s the time to make that request…and don’t forget to send a message for your appointment time. Sides will be available Monday afternoon for cold readings, but prepared monologues are also welcomed. The following Monday and Tuesday we plan to continue the audition process for optimum casting.

Please understand that there is no guarantee that circumstances will allow this production to take place in May as scheduled, but we will be prepared to rehearse beginning in April if the situation improves dramatically (pun intended). Worst case scenario, we have fun with auditions and stay focused on returning to normalcy…which is what we all hope and pray to see in the very near future!

As always, TCTC thrives because of your support and participation. We look forward to some amazing auditions, so blow up DeAnna’s Facebook Messenger with those requests for your appointment!

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER!

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Theatre Guide: Live on a Stage This Weekend

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Theaters and performing arts venues around Tyler offer amazing performances throughout the year – from avant-garde productions to children’s shows – there’s something live on a stage every weekend. Check out these upcoming productions…

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