Not-So-Nasty Grintch 

Prairie Dog goes to Whoville

The Prairie Dog Playhouse is off on a Christmas trip to Whoville and the Grintch's Cave with The Grintch, or How the Winch Stole Christmas, and it seems as though everyone in the Treasure Valley wants to be there, too. Most of the shows are already sold out for this children's favorite, so call right away if you want to be in on this delightfully silly show. There are only three dates still open for reservations, Dec. 21, 30 and 31. At the New Year's Eve show, all seats are $12.

Writer Tate S. McCullough has again taken a familiar character and story and given it the sly, sardonic and goofy twists and turns that epitomize the Prairie Dog Players' productions. Under the skillful direction of Cammie Pavesic, the cast sings, dances, has mad chases, climbs into the balcony, and has a grand time saving Christmas from the Grintch's evil plots.

The nasty Grintch, in his bilious shade of green, is given a terrific persona by Gary Winterholler, as he demands quiet, loathes Christmas and plotting to kidnap the "adorable" children who are eagerly awaiting their visit from Santa. Sarafina Rodriguez is sensational as Mindy Lou, the 28-year-old daughter with her ponytail on top of her head, bouncing about like a 6-year-old. Kami Carpentier puts her all into her hilarious interpretation of Bobby Lou Who, with spiky, flaming red hair and rolling eyes. Their song about "Santa Baby" is a riot.

The partying parents are McCullough as father Idunno Who and Carly Latimore as What Who, the mom, happily dance through life as their children deal with real problems--like the Grintch.

Michael Murphy is a handsome, slim and trim Santa, who can't find his way out of a bag, but still manages to be a swashbuckling character. Max the Dog, made adorable by Angela DeRisio's charm, great make up and costume, is the eager but inept cohort of the Grintch.

The Prairie Dog Players have achieved a certain style over the years that exploits the corniness of their material while achieving an amusing elegance oozing with charm and vitality.

There's lots of screaming, booing of the villain, cheers for the hero and gags about local people (Larry Gebert), places (Taco Bell Arena) and things (cell phones). The kids love it and the adults rarely stop smiling during this peppy show. Add to this hot and tasty pizza from Domino's, hot dogs, nachos and a variety of beverages and free popcorn. What more can you ask to warm up a cold winter's eve?

7:15 p.m. Dec. 21, Dec. 30 and Dec. 31. The New Year's Eve family party will have noise makers, party hats and sparkling cider. Doors open at 6:45 p.m. Prairie Dog Playhouse at The Alano, 3820 Cassia. Tickets $12 adults; $9 seniors and students; $6 children 12 and under. For reservations, contact 336-7383.

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