Edward Watts gets an encore in top role as Old Globe announces ‘Grinch’ cast


The Grinch has clinched a repeat performance.

Edward Watts, who made his debut as the mean, green one in the 2017 edition of “Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” at the Old Globe, will step into the role once again this year, the Balboa Park theater has announced.

The Broadway veteran, whose credits include “Scandalous” and “Finian’s Rainbow,” will appear in the holiday musical favorite alongside Globe newcomer Tommy Martinez (Max), who has been seen in NBC’s “Hairspray Live” and on Broadway in “Newsies”; and longtime “Grinch” hand Steve Gunderson (Old Max), a two-time San Diego Theatre Critics Circle Award-winner with numerous regional and off-Broadway credits.

And Sadie Tess Coleman, a member of the show’s Little Who ensemble for the past two years, will alternate with Leila Manuel (making her Globe debut) in the marquee young-actor role of Cindy-Lou Who.

The “Grinch” cast also includes Robert J. Townsend (Papa Who), Bets Malone (Mama Who), Larry Raben (Grandpa Who), Kyrsten Hafso Koppman (Grandma Who), Zoe Carnot and Audrey Fundingsland (Annie Who), Taylor Coleman and Bianca Rodriguez (Betty-Lou Who), Alexander Ikizyan and Sean Pope (Boo Who), and Gavin August and John Perry Wishchuk (Danny Who).

The ensemble takes in Sophia Adajar, Joelle Dana Advento, Nicholas Alexander, Jacob Caltrider, Janaya Mahealani Jones, Hannah Lee, Lindsay Mains, Sarah Meahl, Mackenzie Nibbe, Arden Pala, Viviana Peji, Amare Phillips, Marcus Terrell Smith, Hailey Topolovac, Kelsey Venter, and Stella Grace Wahl, as well as James Vásquez (swing). Vásquez also happens to be the show’s longtime director and a top San Diego-based theater pro.

“Grinch,” which celebrates its 20th season this year, begins performances Nov. 3 on the Globe’s Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage, with an official opening Nov. 8; the family-minded production runs through Dec. 29.

The show — based on the late La Jollan and beloved author Theodor Seuss Geisel’s children’s story — will again come complete with an official Christmas-tree lighting, set for 6 p.m. Nov. 11 on the Globe’s Copley Plaza and featuring performances by the show’s cast.

And this year’s sensory-friendly performance — taking place at 10:30 a.m. Dec. 1, and tailored toward those on the autism spectrum and their families — will be accompanied by brand-new “Free Axis” surround events hosted by the Globe’s Arts Engagement department.

That happening will include a preshow concert by Jungle Poppins — a troupe of performers on the autism spectrum — plus, after the sensory-friendly performance, a Whoville Sings workshop with singer-songwriter Paul Eddy, an Inclusive Drum Circle featuring Banding Together and a Grinch-y Improv workshop.

“Grinch” tickets start at $29 for adults and $19 for children (17 years and under). Children under 3 will be admitted to aa a.m. performances only, which are open to all ages. At the 11 a.m. performances only, children under 2 are admitted free, but must occupy the same seat and sit on the lap of a parent or guardian in attendance.

Regardless of age, each audience member (including lap kids) must have a ticket to be admitted into the theater.

For ticket purchase and more info: (619) 234-5623 or

Twitter: @jimhebert