Also: When it's airing, the full cast, and why NBC is inflicting this on us.

By Rachel Yang
December 09, 2020 at 08:00 AM EST
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Credit: David Cotter/NBC

Dr. Seuss’ Grinch has been immortalized in a TV short, a live-action movie, an animated film, and now Glee star Matthew Morrison will portray the famous Christmas grump in NBC's The Grinch Musical! on Wednesday.

The first previews of the two-hour musical event have garnered strong reactions, with some fans excited for the show and others focusing on Morrison's unintentionally funny costume and makeup. But regardless of what reason you'll be tuning in on Wednesday, EW has the tea on what to expect and how to watch the special.

Who's starring in The Grinch Musical?

Morrison, who's also appeared in The Good Wife and Footloose on Broadway, will play the holiday-hating green giant first depicted in Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas.

Tony winner Denis O’Hare will play adult Max (the Grinch's faithful dog), with Booboo Stewart as young Max and newcomer Amelia Minto as Cindy-Lou Who rounding out the cast.

When does The Grinch Musical air? How do I watch it?

The musical will air this Wednesday, Dec. 9 at 8 p.m. ET on NBC from the Troubadour Theatre in London. You can also stream it live on NBC's website or the NBC app, as well as on Hulu if you have the Live TV subscription.

Is the cast performing the musical live?

Unlike previous NBC musical events, The Grinch Musical! was filmed prior to air time, due to COVID-19 related protocols.

"It's not live, but it felt live-ish, because we had one take, maybe like a take and a half, to do this," Morrison told EW. "The shooting schedule, which was over two days, was very ambitious. It felt very alive."

How will this version be different from previous Grinch iterations?

Morrison's Grinch will still be the lonely sourpuss we know and love, trying to cancel Christmas by stealing Whoville's decorations before having a change of heart. However, the actor said this version also reflects the present moment and living through quarantine.

"I used a lot of the collective sorrow that we are all feeling globally. I used a lot of that energy that I feel every morning when I wake up," he told EW.

And when it comes to his Grinch's movements, Morrison took inspiration from a surprising character.

"I didn't want the Grinch to be a good dancer," he added. "I took a lot from Joaquin Phoenix's performance in Joker, just going down those steps, like loose and [reveling in] abandon and just carefree and raw."

What images or sneak peeks have we seen of the musical so far?

NBC aired a short preview during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, and the network also released a behind-the-scenes video last week. Yes, Morrison's costume and makeup were a bit scary, as some commenters pointed out (the phrase "war crime" was used by one Twitter user), but the set on stage did look very cute.

Why is this a thing...?

Why does anything happen? Accept that Hollywood is weird and just be happy there are no singing cats with boobs in this one.

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