Exposing children to theatre is very important, and what better way to expose them than with a stage rendering of the beloved 1964 television special “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer?” This colorful, fun production is on stage through the holiday season at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts as part of Broadway Series South and in conjunction with Storybook Theater, which benefits Marbles Kids Museum. And, though the musical is 100% family friendly, that’s not to say that it’s just for kids. Adults, especially those who grew up with the classic story, will find much to love in this production as well.
As the familiar story (and song) goes, Rudolph (Waylin Owsley) is a little reindeer with a big problem- a nose that glows. Though he tries, at the urging of his parents, to hide his glowing nose, it gets the best of him time and time again, rendering him an outcast among his reindeer peers and causing Santa to label him “unfit” to help power his sleigh. Rudolph finds comfort in his lone reindeer pal Clarice (Maigan Kennedy), but still feeling unwanted and unloved, he journeys with a misfit elf, Hermey (Adam Poole) and an adventurous explorer, Yukon Cornelius (Michael Brocki) to the Island of Misfit Toys. And, if all of that isn’t trippy enough already, there’s also a scary abominable snowman, brought to life by a giant puppet that’s a dead-ringer for the movie version- thrown into the mix.
The show moves super quickly, making it a great fit for even the youngest of viewers. It’s also big, musical, and kid-friendly in every possible way. A cast of colorful elves perform beautifully choreographed song and dance numbers throughout the show, larger-than-life puppets sail around the stage, and…it’s basically kid paradise. Adults, though, can enjoy the story’s moral of acceptance and tolerance, as well as the fine performances.
Under Alan Coats’ creative direction and with a beautiful, surreal backdrop designed by Thomas Mauney, the perfectly cast actors do a great job of bringing Rudolph’s story to full and beautiful life. T. Philip Caudle is appropriately cheerful and chuckling as Sam the Snowman (and wow is his costume amazing!), who narrates the story. Kennedy provides just the right touch of sweetness for Clarice and really wows during her musical numbers. Owsley is a perfectly lovable Rudolph, and Brocki turns Yukon Cornelius into the show’s most comic character.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is the show to take the kids (or the kid inside) to this holiday season.
Broadway Series South, in conjunction with Storybook Theater, presents RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER: THE MUSICAL at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 11 and 12, 11 a.m. and 2 and 6:30 p.m. Dec. 13 and 14, 6:30 p.m. Dec. 18 and 19, 11 a.m. and 2 and 6:30 p.m. Dec. 20 and 21, 6:30 p.m. Dec. 22, and 11 a.m. Dec. 23 and 24 in the A.J. Fletcher Opera Theater in the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, 2 E. South St., Raleigh, North Carolina 27601.
TICKETS: $15.50-61.37 (including fees).
Duke Energy Center Box Office: 919-996-8700 or firstname.lastname@example.org (information only).
Ticketmaster: 800-745-3000 or http://www.ticketmaster.com/venueartist/115203/989755.
GROUP RATES (10+ tickets): 919-996-8707, email@example.com, or http://www.dukeenergycenterraleigh.com/broadway-series-south/group-sales.
SHOW: http://www.dukeenergycenterraleigh.com/event/rudolph-broadway-4775 and https://www.facebook.com/events/780101062050980/.
PRESENTER: http://www.progressenergycenter.com/broadway-series-south, https://www.facebook.com/broadwayseriessouthraleigh, and https://twitter.com/BroadwaySouth.
Susie Potter is a Raleigh, NC-based freelance writer and editor. She is a 2009 graduate of Raleigh’s Meredith College, where she majored in English. She holds graduate degrees in teaching and American literature from North Carolina State University in Raleigh. In addition to her work for Triangle Arts and Entertainment, she is an award-winning author of short fiction. Her works have appeared in The Colton Review, Raleigh Quarterly, Broken Plate Magazine, Big Muddy: A Journal of the Mississippi River Valley, the Chaffey Review, and Existere. To read all of Susie Potter’s Triangle Arts and Entertainment articles and reviews, click http://triangleartsandentertainment.org/author/susie-q/. To read more of her writings, click http://www.susiepotter.com and http://www.myspace.com/susiepotter.