Misfits rejoice! The national tour of “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical” will seek to usher in the holiday season with family-friendly glee Friday, Nov. 16 and Saturday, Nov. 17 at the Schuster Center, courtesy of the Victoria Theatre Association’s Projects Unlimited Star Attractions.
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Based on the beloved 1964 animated TV special, appearing annually on CBS since 1972, the familiar story spotlights all your favorite characters including Santa and Mrs. Claus, Hermey the Elf, the Abominable Snow Monster, Clarice, and of course, Rudolph. The feel-good tale offers an uplifting and inspiring look at friendship while providing a gentle lesson in the power of loving and believing in yourself and your abilities.
“Rudolph is a fascinating character who particularly becomes very independent towards the middle of the show,” said Shelby Talley, who plays the titular role. “At the beginning, so many people ridicule him about his nose so he creates a shell that’s hard to get out of. But with the help of Hermey, who is so much like him and creates a special bond with him, Rudolph grows to understand that everyone has something a little different about them, a special, unique trait. Rudolph’s growth, his recognition of embracing what makes him unique, is so special.”
A native Californian and recent graduate of the UCLA TFT program, Talley, embarking on her first national tour, has fond memories growing up watching the special with her family at the holidays. As she grew older, she realized the script contained a deeper, underlying message of acceptance and tolerance.
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“It really brings back feelings of nostalgia,” she said. “But until I became older I didn’t realize the show is really about bullying, which resonates with young and old alike. This show beautifully reminds us that we are all different and we can all accept one another, which adds a very magical charm to the show. The moral of the story is that we must learn to accept one another, which is what the Christmas season is all about. It’s all about love.”
The show is directed and conceived by Jeff Frank and First Stage. Robert Penola adapted the script. The tuneful score, including the iconic title song by Johnny Marks as well as classics such as “The Most Wonderful Day of the Year” and “A Holly Jolly Christmas,” features music arrangements by Timothy Splain and orchestrations by William C. White.
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“It’s been really cool for all of us to tap into the voices, the essence and mannerisms of our characters,” Talley added. “We have studied the TV special and its (stop motion) animation in detail. I think the audience will enjoy the characters being brought to life in a similar way in both characterizations and costumes.”
IF YOU GO
What: "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical"
When: Nov. 16-17; 7 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday
Where: Schuster Center, Second and Main streets, Dayton
Tickets: Call Ticket Center Stage at (937) 228-3630 or visit humanracetheatre.org
FYI: The production is performed in 1 hour and 40 minutes including intermission.
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