One holiday tradition we can’t wait for every year involves one cheery town with a love of Christmas. Whether we’re catching up with all the Whos down in Whoville in the movie or taking the whole family to a performance of the musical, we can’t miss watching how all of Whoville gets the Grinch to grow his heart by three sizes and join in the Christmas carving of the roast beast. How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical is touring cities throughout the US now, and we had the opportunity to ask nine-year-old Genny Gagnon, one of the girls playing the cutest little Who, Cindy Lou Who, all about life in Whoville and traveling the country as part of one of our favorite holiday traditions.
Pottery Barn Kids: The costumes and makeup are some of our favorite parts of How the Grinch Stole Christmas! How long does it take to get into your Who character every night?
Genny Gagnon: We have to be at the theater an hour before the show starts. First, I put on part of my costume and then get my make-up and wig put on. I even get to wear false eyelashes!
PBK: What are your pre-show nightly traditions?
GG: The cast does something called a “Whodle” before every show. We all stand in a circle holding hands and a cast member says a word that will be the theme of the show. Today it was “momentum.” Then, we say the word together on the count of three. I like the people in the cast a lot. They are a sort-of family to me.
PBK: What are rehearsals like for you, the cast, and crew before heading out on tour?
GG: We rehearsed for two weeks in New York City from 10:00 AM until 6:00 PM six days a week. The kids in the show also had to be tutored three hours a day by Ms. Gina, a teacher who travels with us. Next we went to Worcester, Massachusetts for something called “Tech Week” where we rehearsed in a theater to practice with the lights, costumes, and set.
PBK: Is there a specific moment in How the Grinch Stole Christmas that you look forward to performing night after night?
GG: My favorite part is the opening scene because it is the most lively, crazy and awesome part of the show. I get to be picked up a lot by “Papa Who” and we run around on stage. It’s also the first time the audience gets to see me and the first time I get to see the audience.
PBK: What is your favorite city you’ve been to on tour?
GG: My favorite city so far is Detroit because the theatre is very fancy and big. I am looking forward to performing in Florida because the weather will be nice and there will be palm trees.
PBK: Your character famously asks the Grinch what the meaning of Christmas is — what does the holiday mean to you?
GG: I like Christmas because I get to spend it with my Dad, Mom, and two older sisters. Oh, and my cat Princess. Sometimes I have to work hard not to just think about presents but about love, peace, and sharing.
PBK: What’s the best part of touring the country in such a well-known musical?
GG: I like that I get to meet lots of people and talk to them. It’s so much fun being on stage in a musical that makes people feel good.
PBK: Do you have a favorite Dr. Seuss book? If so, which one?
GG: My favorite Dr. Seuss book is Green Eggs and Ham because it’s funny and a really, really, really good rhyming book. I like that every year in school my teachers make green eggs and ham for us to eat on Dr. Seuss’ Birthday!
PBK: Have you started using any Whoville words in real life? Carving the roast beast, for example.
GG: I say “Whoooooo” when I am not on stage to sound surprised. In the show, the Whos say “Who” to show different emotions: happy, sad, confused.
PBK: What are you asking for from the Grinch, I mean, Santa this year?
GG: I’m asking Santa for an iPod touch so I can listen to music. My favorite music is alternative rock and my favorite song is Sister of Pearl by Baio. I also like to listen to Broadway musicals.
Love all things Grinch? The Mean One will be stopping select Pottery Barn Kids stores this holiday season to spread his Grinchy cheer. Find out if he’ll be at a store near you!