"I get to bring a lot of my dance background into this role, which I don't think has really been done with the Grinch before," says Matthew Morrison in the video

By Brianne Tracy
December 04, 2020 01:05 PM
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Prepare to "fah who foraze" with the Whos of Whoville and have your heart grow three sizes! NBC's upcoming production of Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch Musical is just days away.

In a PEOPLE exclusive first look at the musical event, airing from the Troubadour Theatre in London Dec. 9, leading actor Matthew Morrison takes fans behind-the-scenes of rehearsals, even showing a glimpse of the nearly four-hour process to transform into the famously green Grinch.

"[I have] a little nose prosthetic that they put on to make it more pronounced, and then they actually put prosthetics over my eyebrows," Morrison says in the clip showing the process. "Then we put the wig on. It's a cool experience!"

Morrison, 42, goes on to say that what makes this retelling of Dr. Seuss' 1957 How the Grinch Stole Christmas! so "unique" is "the fact that it's a musical."

"It's really a beautiful thing to bring live theater into people's living rooms," he says. "I feel like I get to bring a lot of my dance background into this role, which I don't think has really been done with the Grinch before."

Dr. Suess' The Grinch Musical - Matthew Morrison
Matthew Morrison as the Grinch
| Credit: David Cotter/NBC

American Horror Story actor Denis O'Hare, 58, who plays the older version of the Grinch's pet dog Max, says in the clip that the musical "is closest to the spirit of the book with some incredible additions."

As fans may know, Dr. Seuss’ beloved book tells the story of a reclusive Grinch who plotted from his Mt. Crumpit cave to steal Christmas from the Whos in Whoville. Then on Christmas Eve, disguised as Santa Claus and enlisting his dog Max as a reindeer, the Grinch traveled to Whoville to scoop up the Whos’ gifts and decorations. Much to his surprise on Christmas morning, the Whos were unfazed and celebrated the holiday with a heartwarming display of joy and love.

This musical version — with book and lyrics by Tim Mason, music by Mel Marvin and featuring the Grinch classics "You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" and "Welcome Christmas" — breathes new life into this classic story. The whimsical staging by award-winning director Max Webster will set the mood for a beautiful holiday celebration.

Booboo Stewart, who plays the younger version of O'Hare's character Max, says he was "blown away" when he first saw the set.

"The level of production that has been put into this is astronomically great," says Stewart, 26. "The costumes and the music — everything is just so strong."

Morrison concludes the first look video by saying that the musical will be a great way "to bring families together even if they can't physically be together" due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

"I think this story is a beautiful telling of how to find that love," Morrison says.

"The Grinch's small heart grew three sizes this day," adds O'Hare. "Everyone's heart needs to grow, and that's what this musical can give us."

Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch Musical airs Wednesday, Dec. 9, at 8 p.m. EST on NBC.