Broadway Series South’s presentation of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical, based upon the 1964 Claymation television special, will tickle kids and Baby Boomers alike as they tap their toes through this adaptation of the story of Rudolph. From his humble beginnings as a nasally challenged young reindeer to his rise to the head of Santa’s sleigh, Rudolph’s story teaches the young and young-at-heart about the power of embracing the uniqueness in us all.
As we watch young Rudolph awkwardly try to fit in, we learn that his own father, Donner, is embarrassed about his son’s nose and has him cover it, even though this makes poor Rudolph feel ashamed and talk like he has a cold. During the annual Reindeer Games, where the young and hopeful vie for a place on Santa’s team, Rudoph’s blazing red nose is exposed; and he is banned from the games for being different. Knowing that this will shame his famous father, Rudolph takes to the road where he falls in with Hermey, an elf who has run away from Santa’s workshop, because he wants to be a dentist.
Rudolph and Hermey join up with Yukon Cornelius, a gold and silver prospector hoping to strike it rich. As the three make their way through the snow to find the Island of Misfit Toys, they must avoid the frightening Abominable Snow Monster. If they can make it to the Island, maybe there they will find happiness.
There are great messages here, from loving yourself and others, to accepting everyone’s differences, to following your dreams, and recognizing that your greatest strength is your uniqueness! These are wonderful messages for the holidays and beyond.
The costuming by Iris Lloyd was fun. She was obviously channeling the old Claymation TV show, so the narrator, Sam the Snowman, famously voiced by Burl Ives in the 1960’s version, was a floating, gentle ball of snow. And Yukon Cornelius jumped straight out of the original production. We marveled at the reindeer hooves and the snow bunnies and raccoons, who were worked by puppeteers.
From the Department of Picky-Picky: The elves’ costumes, while faithful to the original production, gave moments of surprise, since the elves tunics were scalloped in the front and back in an odd way. We were grateful that the elves wore tights!
The set was a spare nod to winter, with a white backdrop and ice-flows gliding around the stage with the assistance of white-clad puppeteers, the same puppeteers who brought the bunnies and raccoons to life. Giant shadow and light snowflakes grace the proscenium (thank you Jennifer Sherrod, head of lighting design) And the Abominable Snowman stomps onto the scene by way of a 20-foot tall puppet, a la Paperhand Puppet Intervention. It was so much fun.
Don’t forget this is a musical. The arrangements by Timothy Splain and direction by Julie F. Bradley were perfect for the crowd. We found ourselves singing along to some of our favorites: “Silver and Gold,” “A Holly Jolly Christmas,” and “We Are Santa’s Elves. ” The tunes brought back fond memories of the footie pajamas of our youth. We had lots of laughs.
Bring your kids, wear your antlers, and enjoy a fun-filled evening of joy with the family. And if you sit down front, you might just get snowed on!
SECOND OPINION: Nov. 21st Raleigh, NC ABC11 interview with actor Adam Poole, conducted by John Clark: http://abc11.com/entertainment/rudolph-the-red-nosed-reindeer-comes-to-duke-energy-center/1618367/. (Note: To read Triangle Arts and Entertainment’s online version of the Nov. 28th Triangle Review review by Shannon Plummer-White, click http://triangleartsandentertainment.org/2016/11/broadway-series-souths-rudolph-the-red-nosed-reindeer-is-a-new-triangle-family-tradition/.)
Broadway Series South presents RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER: THE MUSICAL at 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.
SHOW: http://www.dukeenergycenterraleigh.com/event/rudolph-the-red-nosed-reindeer-the-musical-7077 and https://www.facebook.com/events/1075185455873198/.
PRESENTER: http://www.dukeenergycenterraleigh.com/broadway-series-south, https://www.facebook.com/broadwayseriessouthraleigh, and https://twitter.com/BroadwaySouth.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical (Christmas musical): http://www.rudolphthemusical.com/ (official website).
Pamela Vesper has been a Raleigh resident for more than 20 years. A local attorney for licensed professionals, when she’s not in court, Pam can be found watching or participating in local theater productions or enjoying the vibrant Raleigh music and craft beer scene. She also loves indie and foreign films and was an anchor on the local cable show, Movie Minutes. Pam has an opinion on just about everything; just ask her. Kurt Benrud is a graduate of Cary High School and N.C. State University, and he has taught English at both. He first became involved in local theater in 1980. He has served on the board of directors for both the Cary Players and the Cary Playwrights’ Forum. He is also a volunteer reader with Triangle Radio Reading Service. Click here to read their reviews for Triangle Review and Triangle Arts and Entertainment.