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Matthew Morrison played the Grinch like it was Shakespeare. Twitter had some thoughts

Booboo Stewart as Young Max with Matthew Morrison as Grinch onstage in "Dr. Seuss' The Grinch Musical!"
Booboo Stewart as Young Max, left, with Matthew Morrison as Grinch in “Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch Musical!”
(David Cotter / NBC)

When Matthew Morrison first appears in NBC’s “Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch Musical!” he paces the floor and stares into the distance while explaining how much he hates Christmas. He then tilts his green face, furrows his green eyebrows and points his green finger at the camera.

“Look at you, stop grinning,” he says to everyone watching from home. “We’re not here to enjoy ourselves.”

The family-friendly musical adaptation has been an annual crowdpleaser of San Diego’s Old Globe for the last 20 years, and has since played Broadway twice and launched numerous tours. NBC’s pre-taped performance was filmed over two days at the Troubadour Theater in London.

Morrison’s complete commitment to his take on the beloved character (which he partly based on Joaquin Phoenix in “Joker,” after all) was the topic of conversation around the TV musical event, which premiered Wednesday night and will be followed by an encore airing on Dec. 21.

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“I feel that he is in a Shakespeare play,” tweeted actress Katie Johantgen, one of many viewers perplexed by Morrison’s approach. “Someone tell him this isn’t Richard III.”

Of course, it was difficult to not compare this version to the 2000 movie with Jim Carrey or to think of Morrison’s “Glee” character:

Some who tuned in were delighted by Booboo Stewart, who playfully portrayed the dog Max:

And yet, the most confusing part of the broadcast was the jarring number of ads:

Still, Morrison tweeted throughout the prerecorded broadcast and made sure to address the event’s naysayers:


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