Lesli Margherita will return to the New York stage as a grown-up Cindy Lou Who in the world premiere of Matthew Lombardo’s Who’s Holiday! The Olivier Award winner and Broadway favorite will headline the Christmas-themed solo show at the Westside Theatre, where performances will run November 20 through December 31.
Opening night is set for November 28.
The adult twist on Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas has been the subject of a legal battle for the past year. A 2016 production was slated to play Off-Broadway’s New World Stages until it was canceled due to a sudden rights dispute and cease-and-desist from the Seuss estate. Tony nominee Jennifer Simard (currently in Hello, Dolly!) was to star.
A September 20 ruling stated that Lombardo’s work was permissible under fair use as it “subverts the expectations of the Seussian genre” through “outlandish, profanity-laden, adult-themed scenarios.”
Carl Andress, who was originally attached to direct, returns to helm the delayed premiere.
Who’s Holiday takes place 40 years after Cindy Lou Who first met the Grinch. As she prepares a Christmas Eve party for her friends, Cindy recounts where her life has taken her in the decades following that fateful encounter.
Margherita, an Olivier winner for Zorro, most recently appeared on Broadway as Mrs. Wormwood in Matilda—a role she originated when the production opened in 2013; she later returned to the role as a member of the final company. She also starred as Mona Kent in the 2015 Broadway production of Dames at Sea. She is no stranger to commanding the stage alone following a string of acclaimed cabaret acts: Rule Your Kingdom, All Hail The Queen, and Broad.
The production will feature sets by David Gallo, costumes by Jess Goldstein, lighting design by Ken Billington, wig design by Charles LaPointe, and sound design by Bart Fasbender. Gene Fisch Jr., Jason Shaw, and Scott and Jenny Beck will produce in association with Foresight Theatrical.
The Westside Theatre’s upstairs space is currently home to the musical Curvy Widow, which recently announced it would play its final performance November 5.