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Timothy Mason and Mel Marvin were (and pretty much still are) an unknown composer/lyricist duo who,

in 2006, managed to make it to Broadway with the kid !riendly seasonal show How the Grinch Stole Christmas, the Musical!, which was popular enough to merit a return engagement the !ollowing year" #n!ortunately, their score, recorded and released earlier this year with most o! the original cast, doesn$t live up to the show$s success" %atrick %age, who originated the title role on Broadway in 200&, reprises his duties here, a'ly assisted 'y !ellow original cast mem'er and Broadway mainstay Broadway mainstay (ohn )ullum (Shenandoah, On the Twentieth Century) as the elderly version o! Ma* the +og" %age walked away with the reviews in 200&, and he elevates every song he,s in with his deliciously menacing 'ass 'aritone voice" -ndeed, the undistinguished Marvin/Mason score is helped immeasura'ly 'y these two veteran actors" .rom the time the characters start to sing /0ho 1ikes )hristmas2,/ it$s o'vious that you are a'out to su'merge yoursel! in a !airly mediocre score" Mason provides a clever, i! o'vious, lyrical introduction to the 0hos (/0ho likes )hristmas2/0hos like )hristmas3/), 'ut the novelty 4uickly wears o!!, replaced 'y a tiresome /55BB/ rhyme scheme that lands like a thud, especially when paired with Marvin$s music, which is virtually indistinguisha'le !rom any other specialty holiday song" .ortunately, that mediocrity doesn$t last very long, at least where the music is concerned" /- 6ate )hristmas 7ve,/ the ne*t ma8or song, starts with a 'ouncy melody that nevertheless !eels slightly grating and o!! putting the per!ect melody with which to introduce the 9rinch" Mason$s lyrics, however, can$t seem to rise out o! the muck" That$s a shame, since he o'viously spent a good deal o! time on them" /)hristmas 7ve/ prominently !eatures rhymes like /missed us/)hristmas,/ which is !ine until you reali:e that it$s spoken as /M-;T duss/kriss M#;;"/ 1ater, he has a character sings the 8arringly cringe worthy /.or he knows every 0ho/+own in 0hoville 'eneath/, instead o! the grammatically correct /'elow/" 0hile this is per!ectly appropriate !or the 9rinch to sing, it$s horri'ly out o! place when sung with nary a trace o! cynicism 'y )indy 1ou 0ho$s !ather" The 0hos live in per!ect harmony< they have no reason to make such an une*pected lyric shi!t" The remainder o! the score is plagued 'y the same identity crisis" Marvin$s music seeks to serve the characters (with one or two e*ceptions< more on them in a minute), while Mason is too 'usy trying to come up with unnecessarily showy rhymes to 'other with them" 6e stops showing o!! and concentrates on character e*actly once, in the 9rinch$s /=ne o! a >ind/< unsurprisingly, it$s the 'est song in the score" Marvin throws character to the wolves during 'oth o! )indy 1ou$s 'ig solos, pro'a'ly at the insistence o! Mason and the producers" ;tuck smack da' in the middle o! a 'unch o! reprises" /;anta .or 5 +ay/ and /0here 5re ?ou, )hristmas2/ sound like they were

plucked straight !rom )harles ;trouse$s pile o! re8ect songs !rom Annie" Both are 'ig, sentimental 'allads ladled with sap and sung 'y a plucky little girl with a 'ig voice" 1ike the score as a whole, it$s the work o! promisingly talented amateurs who haven$t 4uite !ound a distinctive voice o! their own"