Matthew Morrison on Transforming for ‘Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch Musical!’ on NBC

Dr. Seuss The Grinch Musical Matthew Morrison
David Cotter/NBC

“It’s heavy. And hot. But, man, does it deliver,” says Matthew Morrison of the iconic green suit he dons to play that famous curmudgeon the Grinch onstage for NBC’s special presentation of Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch Musical. “We are going with a sort of 1950s Elvis sensibility.”

This production of the Tim Mason–Mel Marvin musical (based on Dr. Seuss’ 1957 How the Grinch Stole Christmas) films at London’s Troubadour Theatre.

For his performance, Morrison says, “I’m playing into the loneliness and isolation that the Grinch experiences. It’s been a challenge to summon that anger he has inside of him” — so much anger that he tries to spoil Christmas for the joyful Whos of Whoville, including adorable tyke Cindy Lou Who (Amelia Minto), by stealing their presents with the aid of faithful pooch Max (Booboo Stewart, Descendants).

In fact, it’s a much older Max (Denis O’Hare, American Horror Story) who narrates as he “reflects on his life as Grinch’s dog,” says Morrison. “Both Young and Old Max play pivotal roles in the Grinch’s development.”

Dr. Seuss The Grinch Musical

(Credit: David Cotter/NBC)

We all know the Mean One gets a happy ending, and Morrison says the message is a perfect fit for our times. “People might feel a little Grinchy themselves, but there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.” Our heart just grew three sizes!

Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch Musical!, Wednesday, December 9, 8/7c, NBC