Pops Goes the Grinch

Sure, we have Jim Carrey's broad new interpretation as well as the classic cartoon version featuring the voice of Boris Karloff, but there are still a few of us who first came to experience How the Grinch Stole Christmas when our parents read it to us as little Whos. Competing with Mom could prove as daunting as climbing Mount Crumpit, but Kevin Deas, who gained international acclaim in concert performances of Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, will take on the challenge of presenting the good doctor's story the way it was intended: through Seuss's own words.

Of course, Deas will get a little help along the way. To supplement this tale of a guy with a heart two sizes too small, the Houston Symphony will perform the music and songs from Chuck Jones's 1966 animated TV special. Of course, that means "someone" is going to sing "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch." The program also offers some unique twists to Albert Hague's score. For instance, the opening number mixes Christmas music with a square-dancing hoedown (?!). As always, "Trim Up the Tree" is fun, and the lyrics to "Welcome Christmas" are certainly memorable: "Fah who foraze / Dah who doraze / Welcome Christmas! / Come this way!"

The Grinch won't be allowed to steal this entire Christmas show. A Very Merry Pops! also will include such favorites as "Deck the Halls" and "Feliz Navidad" and, of course, something from The Nutcracker. Since some parents won't touch the Carrey vehicle with a 39-and-a-half-foot pole, returning to the original story may be the only proper way to introduce your own little Cindy Lou Who to the Grinch.

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