Matthew Morrison Ruins Christmas: A Review of the Live Grinch Musical

Jaka Doherty, Staff Writer

On December 9th, 2020, NBC made the questionable decision to air a live version of The Grinch Musical. When I first heard they were doing a live Grinch performance, I was intrigued. I soon became horrified when I discovered that the Grinch would be played by none other than Glee’s Matthew Morrison. If you’re anything like me, you’re terrified of this man. He played a very controversial role on Glee as Mr. Will Schuester. He’s also been on Broadway, but he is most commonly known for Glee and his troubling social media posts, like the one seen below. This article isn’t about Matthew Morrison though…it’s a review of The Grinch Musical. I tried my best to put my discontentment with Mr. Morrison behind me to watch the performance.

 I turned on NBC hoping the show would prove my assumptions wrong… spoiler alert, it didn’t. Might I add my concerns deepened when MM said he based his Grinch off Joker (2019).  Let’s go step by step through the show though together! The show opened with the Whos of Whoville performing a song; this wasn’t bad. The performers were very talented and the choreography was good. Yay, I thought, this may not be so bad after all. Wrong. Next, an old version of the Grinch’s dog, Max, came on screen. This was confusing to me. Basically, the old version of Max narrates the musical. We got a little story of Max’s life and saw different versions of him throughout the years concluding with someone I was excited to see… Booboo Stewart. We were approaching the moment that Thou Who Shall Not Be Named would be coming on screen. Mr. Grinch himself, Matthew Morrison. All of my judgement of the man aside… His portrayal made me so uncomfortable. Don’t ask me why he was trying to make the Grinch seem seductive. I thought The Grinch was a family story, but certainly that sentiment was not also held by Morrison. I watched in terror as he did fuzzy green thrusts on the screen. It was completely unprovoked. I still continued to watch. It didn’t get better. I laughed but not for the reasons intended. 

All in all, the live Grinch lacked the charm of previous interpretations of the Grinch story. All of the nostalgia and joy was replaced with Matthew Morrison in green makeup and a fuzzy suit.