Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is a seasonal holiday favorite. Growing up as a child, I always looked forward to watching Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer on TV. Just after the turkey was finished and the holiday decorations were unpacked, the family would gather in the living room to watch this Holiday Classic.
Broadway Series South’s fourth annual production of the stage adaptation of this TV movie, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical, currently being performed in the A.J. Fletcher Opera Theater in Raleigh’s Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, in conjunction with Marbles Kids Museum, certainly does not disappoint. All of your favorite characters are here, including; Sam the Snowman, Santa, Mrs. Claus, Hermey the Elf, Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster, Clarice, Yukon Cornelius, Rudolph, and the Misfit toys.
Sam the Snowman (played by T. Philip Caudle) is our warm and friendly narrator for the day. He tells us about the story of Rudolph (Waylin Owsley), the little reindeer who doesn’t quite look like all the others due to his bright red nose. The other reindeer taunt him and don’t allow him to play in the reindeer games. Despite Rudolph’s friendship with the sweet Clarice (Hannah Godbold), Santa deems him unfit for sleigh duty.
Distraught, Rudolph decides to run away from home. Before leaving town, he runs into Hermey the Elf (Adam Poole), who hates to make toys; and together they set off on finding the place where they belong. Along the way they meet fellow misfits Yukon Cornelius (Michael Brocki), the arctic miner in search of a special treasure, and Bumble the misunderstood Abominable Snow Monster (Ryan Sheehe). They find themselves in the land of Misfit Toys, the toys no children want to play with.
Rudolph and Hermey hope thyat they have found their new home; but King Moonracer (Dustin A. Walker), the winged Lion King of the Misfits, refuses to let them stay. He asks that they return home to ask Santa to find homes for the orphaned misfit toys. Once they have returned home to Santa’s workshop, a horrible blizzard threatens to cancel Christmas! The only person that can help save Christmas is Rudolph and his bright red nose. What once caused him shame, ends up earning him the respect of the other reindeer, and helping to find homes for all the lonely misfit toys.
Director Alan Coats and choreographer Sherry Lee Allen have staged a fun upbeat production. Coats offers a couple of opportunities for audience interactions, while the magical set is brought to life by talented scenic designer Thomas Mauney.
The costumes and puppets, designed and created by Hardrive Productions of Orlando, FL, are so lifelike that you forget they are being manipulated by actors. The little woodland creatures and misfit toys are my personal favorite.
Although Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical is aimed at younger audience members, it is certainly not just for kids. At the risk of over-analyzing, I would say I actually appreciate Rudolph more as an adult. There is something about the Island of Misfits Toys and the misunderstood Abominable Snow Monster that speaks to me.
One slight criticism is that the musical orchestration was a bit too loud at times, often drowning out the ensemble. The maturer audience members were humming the familiar songs to themselves that I’m sure this went unnoticed to the vast majority. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical is a fast-paced show, clocking in at about 90 minutes with an intermission. This allows ample time for younger audience members with shorter attention spans to have a small snack break.
This show would be a great first-time theater experience for the kids and the beginning to a new Triangle family tradition. Grab the kids, grandkids, and the whole family for a trip to see this wholesome family favorite story live on stage. May you find your “Silver and Gold” and “Have a Holly Jolly Christmas!”
Broadway Series South presents RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER: THE MUSICAL at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m Nov. 27, 6:30 p.m. Dec. 2, 11 a.m. and 2 p.m Dec. 3 and 4, 6:30 p.m. Dec. 9, 11 a.m. and 2 p.m Dec. 10 and 11, 6:30 p.m. Dec. 16, 11 a.m. and 2 and 5 p.m Dec. 17 and 18, and 11 a.m. and 2 p.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: $15.14-$52.14 (Note: Broadway Series South notes that “Children above the age of 1 require a ticket“).
Duke Energy Center Box Office (information only): 919-996-8700 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical (Christmas musical): http://www.rudolphthemusical.com/ (official website).
Shannon Plummer-White is no stranger to the stage! She studied Musical Theater & Opera at the American Musical Dramatic Academy in New York City, and has appeared in films such as Iron Man 3 and Safe Haven. She has also performed with the North Carolina Master Chorale and the North Carolina Symphony. When she isn’t on stage or making magic behind the scenes, she can be found in the art studio playing with fire and molten glass. She is an animal advocate with a special love of cats. She has four rescued fur children and a very supportive husband. Click here to read her reviews for Triangle Review and Triangle Arts and Entertainment.