Going Green for the Holidays

A little insight into how the Grinch gets so green every year at Children’s Theatre Co.

Natalie  Tran  (Young  Max)  and  Reed  Sigmund  (The  Grinch)  in  Dr.  Seuss’s  How  The  Grinch  Stole  Christmas  |  Photo  by  Dan  Norman
Natalie Tran (Young Max) and Reed Sigmund (The Grinch) in Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

photo by Dan Norman

Natalie Tran (Young Max) and Reed Sigmund (The Grinch) in Dr. Seuss

s How The Grinch Stole

Christmas | Photo by Dan Norman

Natalie Tran (Young Max) and Reed Sigmund (The Grinch) in Dr. Seuss

s How The Grinch Stole

Christmas | Photo by Dan Norman

I don’t know how Children’s Theatre Co. actor Reed Sigmund acts when he’s with just adults, but when there are kids in the room, he’s full of jokes and funny faces—although some of his funny faces were so he could get his Grinch makeup just right.

This is Sigmund’s fourth year as the Grinch in CTC’s Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas, which runs through Jan. 6, and as part of the hype, local press, influencers, and some very important people—their children—were invited to have lunch with Sigmund and see him become the Grinch. Needless to say, the event ended with people posing with the Grinch and a pair of impish twins facing off in a laugh-off with Sigmund’s booming cackles and swinging whomever was in the middle up in the air. The twins insisted on swinging Sigmund, too, and either they were very, very strong or some holiday magic helped them out because Sigmund was flying.

Reed Sigmund putting on makeup and his Grinch costume for Children Theatre Co.'s How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Gray-toned photos by Katie Ballalatak; weirdly yellow-toned photos by Lianna Matt.
From upper left, clockwise: Katie Ballalatak (2), Lianna Matt (2)

 It takes Sigmund about 30 minutes to transform into the Grinch, starting with various shades of green and powder as well as eyeliner for the eyes and eyebrows. (He jokes that he is lucky he doesn’t need fake eyelashes like some of the Whos: “There’s some things I’m really not good at, like skiing and putting on fake eyelashes—that’s hard!”) Next come the sagging lines to make his face long and droopy, and then a nose. Last, a cleft chin, just because he likes them.

As for the actual outfit, the Grinch may need all of the fur to keep warm in the snow, but the shaggy coat is mighty warm for Sigmund. To help with this, two pockets that can hold ice packs are stitched into the undershirt he wears; they melt within the first five minutes of each act. The green tights and furry shoes still leave him with plenty of mobility, and the cone-shaped wig seems pretty secure on his head, but the extra-long finger gloves leave some grip to be desired. However, these are the sacrifices that one must make to be a holiday icon—well, that and having a green-tinged face in holiday photos and doctors worrying you have jaundice because the makeup never seems to come off completely. Sigmund seems to take it in stride, though.

Sigmund may play the Grinch onstage, but he’s never had a grouchy attitude toward the holidays. In fact, he has four Christmas trees in his house, and a couple of them are Star Wars– and comic book-themed. He also loves that this year, for the first time, the show is finally singing the “Welcome Christmas” song from the 1966 animated special, you know the one that goes, “Fah who foraze, dah who doraze, welcome Christmas, Christmas Day!”

Welcome in the holiday spirit yourself by seeing How the Grinch Stole Christmas this year. It’s a story many grew up with, but with new changes and a cast and creative team wanting to make it better every year, it’s a story that just might make your heart grow three sizes every time you see it.

Click here for 20 percent off tickets. The discount is available until Dec. 1. (Limit of five tickets. Not valid on preview performances, VIP, Price Level C, previously purchased tickets, or in combination with any other offer. All sales are final, no refunds or exchanges. Other restrictions and fees may apply. Discounts are not transferrable.)

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