Reed Sigmund, a member of the Children’s Theater Company since 2002, played the Grinch four times while on vacation in Minneapolis. As he once again dons the green paint and wry Christmas Thief look, he struggles to shake his character. In fact, for a recent interview, the Grinch spoke out loud and clear.
Q: Holidays are important to humans. What are your rituals at this time of year?
A: Every year, the day after Thanksgiving, I pull out my grandmother’s secret cookie recipe – the tastiest cookie recipe ever. I spend a whole day making the dough, then I get out the old cookie cutter, make them perfect, and put them in the oven for six hours. Sear them until crispy. Then I throw them at passers-by. Knock out a few.
Q: Do people try to catch and eat these cookies?
A: One person did it once. Lost all his teeth.
Q: You have Max in your life. Do you have any particular rituals?
A: We do Secret Santa and I always draw him and he draws me. I brought him an autographed photo of me. And chips, lots of chips. He gave me rage.
Q: In human society, we associate green with money and the environment. How does it feel to be green?
A: Well, I’m the only creature in the world that’s green. And I think it’s because of the amount of asparagus I eat. I love everything about asparagus. Especially the smell. Used asparagus is my favorite smell.
Q: Did you bottle it, Gwyneth Paltrow style?
A: I have it, and I sent it to my enemies.
Q: People have ideas about the Grinch, like he has a heart two or three sizes too small. Is it just a stereotype?
A: It is the truth. And I must say that due to its size, it is terrible at pumping blood. That’s why my circulation is bad and I never sit cross-legged.
Q: Are there any other ways you are misunderstood?
A: I think people assume I can’t dance. I can and will prove them wrong at every opportunity.
Q: Your favorite dance music?
A: I have a collection of old Christmas records. What I did was I took a sharp razor blade and scratched the records to pieces. And I put them on and just listen to them jump and break. Broken records are my favorite music. I like to hear Christmas music getting mangled.
Q: Do you have a therapist?
A: No. I don’t need anyone to tell me how I feel.
Q: Cindy Lou Who, this girl reaching out to you, how is she?
A: CL Dubs we call it. Odious. Groan. Spoiled. But she has beautiful hair.
Q: Do you have anything in common with Cindy Lou Who?
A: We both have faces.
Q: Have you ever touched his hand?
A: No. She tried to hold my hand once. It didn’t go well. For me. I ran and tripped and had a concussion. Well, I’m an athlete.
Q: What do you like to play?
A: Tackles. If you believe in yourself, anything is possible. I have more tackles in my high school basketball division than anyone else. I love the sounds of knuckles, elbows hitting the hardwood floor.
Q: Does the Grinch like horseback riding?
A: Well, horses usually ride it. I love scuba diving. Probably my favorite sport.
Q: And what do you see there?
A: Things that sank, died, crashed. It’s like a beautiful quiet cemetery.
Q: Is that where you find joy and comfort?
Q: How are the holidays going for you?
A: Alone. Too much noise, merriment, friendship – all things I hate. I hate the smiles, the eye contact, the grip. It’s really difficult. But every year, on Christmas Eve, I get down on my knees, look at the stars and make the same wish.
Q: What is your wish?
A: That every Who in Whoville and around the world will wake up with mildly explosive food poisoning. It’s actually hilarious – the sights, the sounds, the smells. It is truly a celebration of all the senses.
Q: Let’s say there’s another guy across town, Ebenezer Scrooge, who also has a holiday dislike.
A: Technically we are first cousins. I did this 23andMe thing. I was surprised. Second cousin on my mother’s side.
Q: How did that make you feel?
A: It was bittersweet. I was hoping not to have a family. At least he has something in common with me, and it’s pure disgust with humanity.
Q: What is your greatest success?
A: I like to know, and it turned out to be true, that when children fall asleep they have nightmares about me. It takes years of dedication, passion, indifference.
‘dr. Seuss How the Grinch Stole Christmas’
Who: Music by Mel Marvin, book and lyrics by Timothy Mason. Choreography by Linda Talcott Lee. Directed by Peter Brosius.
When: 7 p.m. Tue-Sat, 2 p.m. & 5 p.m. Sun. Ends January 8.
Where: Children’s Theater, 2400 3rd Av. S., deputies.
Tickets: $15-$89. 612-874-0400 or childrenstheatre.org.
Protocol: Masks encouraged.