After earning rave reviews during its Chicago premiere last year, Matthew Lombardo’s provocative take on a holiday classic makes a triumphant return to Theater Wit. Who’s Holiday follows a now 40-year-old Cindy Lou Who (Veronica Garza) as she tells the story of the infamous night she met The Grinch Who Stole Christmas and the not-so-heartwarming events that followed after they crossed paths.
Through 12/30: Thu 7 PM, Fri-Sat 7 and 9:30 PM, Sun 3 PM; also Tue-Wed 12/20-12/28 7 PM, Sun 12/18 7 PM, Fri 12/2-12/9 and Sat 12/3 7 PM only, no performances Sat-Sun 12/24-25; Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont, 773-975-8150, theaterwit.org, $36-$50
With Garza and director Christopher Pazdernik at the helm, Who’s Holiday transcends the Dr. Seuss story it’s based on and the expectations of anyone who might come in anticipating a typically wholesome Christmas story. Garza is a brilliant comedian who nails each of Cindy’s raunchy quips, droll physical quirks, and moments of frank sentimentality. From the moment she steps into Cindy’s humble trailer on the outskirts of Whoville, decked in festive garb and a grown-up take on her iconic hairdo, it’s clear that Garza thoroughly embodies an edgy variation on the classic character.
Throughout the show’s 65-minute run, Garza commands and captivates, inviting the audience to laugh, riff, sing, and even cry with her as she recounts Cindy’s plight in the same rhyming cadence as the show’s source material. While Lombardo’s script isn’t afraid to go there in its humor and its whimsy, the honesty that Garza brings to Cindy makes this story feel totally earnest and enduring.