Orlando Fringe Review: ‘How the Grinch Killed Christmas: A Who-Dunnit Parody’

Who-lementary my dear Fringe, the cast of “How the Grinch Killed Christmas: A Who-Dunnit Parody” creates alternative endings to the classic children’s story, going beyond the “Fah Who Doraze.” Written as a Who-dunnit parody, notable characters from “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” seek help from the narrator, played by Kristen Lichtenthal, after the Grinch is found stabbed, lying, in a Christmas tree. An array of wacky and zany explanations come forth as the narrator investigates the cast on who was last seen with the Grinch.

Queer Orlando locals were quick to pick up on inside jokes, like the “Who-liament House” referenced by Lou and Carson, played by Jerry Jobe Jr. and Samuel Spare. Lia Harland, portraying the “not so little” Cindy, provoked laughter from the audience with her sassy and foul-mouthed antics. Her mother, played by Hillary Kelly, disapproved of her behavior, but Kelly captivated the audience with an intense speech during an investigation scene. Grandma, played by Jasha Vaughn, had no motive to kill the Grinch but delivered significant comedic relief and lesbian representation. Martha May Whovier, the potential love interest of the Grinch, was portrayed by Elisabeth Christie who conveyed a sultry alibi of her innocence. Finally, Max, portrayed by Jonathan Barreto, walks on two legs and shuns leashes, hinting at a motive for his quest for freedom from the Grinch.

Though reasons were given, and blame was cast on who killed the Grinch, in a flash of the lights the show picks up from a turning point. In an homage to the movie “Clue,” writers Bryan Cantrell, Elisabeth Christie and Jonathan Barreto created alternate endings that have several possibilities on who could have killed the Grinch and why, including live reenactments. This cast brought high holiday energy to the stage with Christmas-themed costumes and a revolving set piece.

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