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Theatre / Grinchmas

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Grinchmas is a seasonal holiday event held at Universal's Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Hollywood that runs from November to early January. The event is centered entirely around Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, featuring several activities and entertainment acts inspired by the story. It was originally started up at both parks as a way of promoting the 2000 film adaptation. The event continued to be run at Islands of Adventure every year except for 2006, while at Universal Studios Hollywood the event didn't return until 2008, where it has since then continued to be run each year.

The event at Islands of Adventure has all of the Seuss Landing area being given a Whoville-themed overlay, with there being a Grinch meet-and-greet and the Wholiday Spectacular, a 30-minute show that retells the story of the Grinch.

Over at Universal Studios Hollywood, the event consists of three different entertainment acts in addition to numerous meet-and-greets with the Grinch and the Whos, the acts being a tree-lighting ceremony and two musical performances, The Wholiday Singers and Martha May and the Who-Dolls. The event also once featured a mini-performance on the Whoville set that's on the park's Studio Tour and a show called Story Time with Cindy-Lou, but both of these have since been discontinued.

Tropes in Grinchmas include:

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    Florida Event 
  • Accidental Rhyme: The Grinch does this a few times in the show, much to his own annoyance initially, but he finds that he's beginning to enjoy it towards the end of the show.
  • Adapted Out: Both Mayor Augustus Maywho and his assistant Whobris are completely excised from the story, though the show does gives some of the former's story roles to Martha May Whovier.
  • Adaptation Deviation: In an earlier version of the show that was done back in 2000's, a few of the story elements were rearranged, such as by having the Grinch disgruntly return all of the Whos' Christmas supplies after hearing them singing, and he would instead have his official Heel–Face Turn occur in front of all the Whos after he gets caught up in their celebrations.
  • Adaptation Distillation: Along with skipping over a lot of the plot lines in the 2000 film, the show also cuts out the moment in the original story where the Grinch has to stop all of the Whos' supplies from falling off of Mount Crumpit.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: The Grinch engages in this upon directly telling the narrator to skip past the parts of the story that would require him to do too much work.
  • Canon Foreigner: With the exception of the Grinch, Martha May, Cindy-Lou Who and her parents, all of the characters were created exclusively for the show.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: The show has some brief appearances of a kooky elderly Who, who rambles on a lot and at one point can't even remember where his house is. Then there's also a seemingly-homeless Who that keeps mistakenly thinking that it's already Christmas Day.
  • Colorblind Casting: Most of the roles in the show are given to people of any race, the main exception being Cindy Lou Who.
  • Demoted to Extra: Compared to the TV special and both film adaptations, Max's role in the show is relatively minor.
  • Fat Bastard: When the show was given some updates in 2018, one of said updates was giving the Grinch a large gut, to make him look more like his cartoon counterpart.
  • Gasp!: The Whos do a mass-gasp when Cindy-Lou Who mentions the Grinch, and later do it again when they realize that the person returning their supplies is the Grinch.
  • Head-Turning Beauty: Martha May Whovier is highly admired by all the other Whos, for both her looks and her amazing decorating skills.
  • Interactive Narrator: During his raid on Whoville, the Grinch acknowledges the Narrator’s presence a few times, such as telling him to skip ahead when the Narrator begins talking about the process of how the Grinch goes down the chimneys of each of the Who’s houses. The Narrator is also briefly acknowledged by a wacky elderly Who.
  • Let's Duet: "You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch" is at times sung as a duet between the Grinch and the Narrator.
  • Movie Bonus Song: Inverted. This show, which adapts both the original TV special and the 2000 live action film, adds on some new songs that weren't in either version, such as a cover of "The Man with the Bag" just for Martha May Whovier.
  • Never Say That Again: All the Whos shudder when Cindy-Lou Who brings up the Grinch, as they tend to go out of their way to never mention him by name.
  • Portman Title:
    • For both this and Hollywood's event: "Grinch" + "Christmas" = "Grinchmas".
    • For the Wholiday Spectacular: "Who" + "Holiday" = "Wholiday".
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: Due to this being a stage show, the scene when the Grinch lifts all the Whos supplies off the edge of Mount Crumpit is cut for this reason. This is also lampshaded when the Grinch asks the Narrator to skip past the parts of the story that would require the Grinch to do extensive physical work.
  • Pun-Based Title: The Wholiday Spectacular is this.
  • Running Gag: The show has one Who that keeps mistakingly thinking it's Christmas repeatedly, with it not being until the end of the show that she finally gets the timing right.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: The Grinch does this upon being startled by Cindy-Lou Who.
  • Series Continuity Error: Unlike the film, the part where Cindy-Lou asks the The Grinch as Santa not to forget about the Grinch and that she thinks he's sweet doesn't make any sense because she hasn't actually met him at that point.
  • Super Spit: In a moment that was cut out of later versions of the show, the Grinch is somehow able to make a spitball all the way up in Mount Crumpit that actually hits one of the Whos down in Whoville.

    Hollywood Event 
  • Adaptation Deviation/Adaptation Distillation: The tree-lighting ceremony greatly simplifies the story of the Grinch, most notably by having him actually get caught by Cindy-Lou Who and Martha May Whovier while in the process of plundering Whoville and by having them right there and then convince the Grinch to stop his raid.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Mayor Augustus Maywho, though still a bit of a grouch, is much nicer in the show compared to his movie counterpart.
  • Audience Participation:
    • Several children in audience get to participate in one of The Wholiday Singers' songs.
    • In past versions of Martha May and the Who-Dolls, a selected male guest would be brought up on stage for one of the songs. Likewise, past versions of Story Time with Cindy-Lou had Cindy bring up two kids from the audience to help tell the story of the Grinch.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: When the Grinch finds the presents too heavy to shove up the chimney, he outright asks someone in the audience to help him, but soon after tells them to sit back down.
  • Incoming Ham: In the tree lighting ceremony, the Grinch's intro is him crashing down the tree, declaring "Air bag's a little slow!" and then exiting a present surrounded by smoke and scaring the Whos.
  • Interactive Narrator: Much like the Orlando show, when the Narrator starts speaking about the process of how the Grinch stole the Whos' presents, the Grinch interrupts him and says that it's too difficult to do some of those things physically. He also points out to the Narrator that the audience can see all of his actions and therefore doesn't need someone to describe them to everyone.
  • Mythology Gag: The version of "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" is the one from the animated version.
  • Recycled Soundtrack: The tree lighting ceremony's version of "We Wish You A Merry Christmas" is taken from Home Alone's soundtrack. Story Time with Cindy-Lou also used music bits from Home Alone.
  • Suddenly Significant Rule: Augustus insists that the Grinch should be rejected from Whoville due to the rule in the "Book of Whos" that the term "Grinchy" should apply when Christmas spirit is in short supply.
  • Tempting Fate: After the Grinch steals the presents, he gloats that he stopped Christmas from coming. Cue Cindy-Lou Who and Martha May Whovier dancing in while singing "Welcome Christmas".
  • They Call Me MISTER Tibbs!: During the Grinch's interaction with the Mayor:
    Grinch: You got me, officer!
    Augustus: Mayor.
    Grinch: Right. You've got me, sheriff!