After winning its latest legal battle, the play “Who’s Holiday!” is eyeing Broadway.
A U.S. Court of Appeals ruled in favor of playwright Matthew Lombardo last Friday, again affirming that the play is a parody, and thus considered fair use. Producer Ben Feldman will lead the Broadway-aimed production, according to press representatives for the show.
Dr. Seuss Enterprises had originally sent cease and desist letters in 2016 to Lombardo and to the Shubert Organization, which owns New World Stages where the play was set to premiere, for copyright infringement of the story “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” Those letters halted the 2016 production, which was set to star Jennifer Simard.
Lombardo then took legal action against Dr. Seuss Enterprises and won the case in September 2017, after District Court Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein ruled in favor of the play being a parody.
Dr. Seuss Enterprises had tried to appeal that ruling, but the Appellate Court denied their appeal, after hearing arguments at the end of June.
“We find Dr. Seuss Enterprises’ arguments to be without merit,” the ruling states. “The district court correctly determined that the play is a parody, imitating the style of the Grinch for comedic effect and to mock the naïve, happy world of the Whos.”
The parody includes “topics such as bestiality, drug abuse, teenage pregnancy, prison culture and other distinctly ‘un-Seussian’ subjects,” according to the press release.
The producers are planning a limited Broadway engagement later this year.
The play is a one-woman show about a grown-up Cindy Lou Who, which was played off-Broadway in 2017 by Lesli Margherita. In the play, a parody of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” Who recounts how her life has changed since meeting the Grinch.