Review: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

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Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical is a fantastic family musical at TPAC's Polk Theater Dec. 16 - 21.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical (Dec. 16 – 21; All ages)
TPAC’s Polk Theater
505 Deaderick St., Nashville
782-4040 • tpac.org
Remaining show times: Thu – Fri 7 p.m.; Sat 11 a.m., 3 and 7 p.m.; Sun 2 and 5 p.m.
Tickets: $40 – $70

… a surefire hit and a wonderfully unforgettable experience for your entire family this holiday season.

A spectacular Christmastime treat awaits your family with the magical production of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical at TPAC this week. Based on the animated classic TV holiday special — which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year! — Rudolph delightfully comes to life in this 70-minute stage adaption.

The musical holds true to the TV version, and that’s awesome considering how near and dear to many hearts, young and old alike, the annual broadcast remains. In fact, the packed house on opening night found lots of older folks mesmerized by the production just as magically as their pint-sized counterparts whose wide-eyed fascination was brimming with excitement. If your children have yet to experience the magic of live theater, Rudolph is the perfect introduction to it!

Lexy Baeza stars as Rudolph and is perfectly cast. She sounds just like the little reindeer from the TV classic and embodies such an innocent, child-like charm and energy. Baeza is remarkable at bringing Rudolph to life on stage, and lots of excited “oohs,” “aahs” and “wows” erupt from the audience when Rudolph takes to the air during flying sequences.

The entire cast does a splendid job with each of its roles, with particular nods to Wesley Edwards as Hermey the Elf, Nick Waaland as the adventurous prospector Yukon Cornelius, Abby Bolin Carlson as Mrs. Claus, Jason Michael Hammond as Santa and Ryan Coon as Sam the Snowman, the show’s narrator.

In addition, several puppeteers work their magic on stage operating a cast of characters from bunnies and birds to the residents on the Island of Misfit Toys, including King Moonracer, Charlie-in-the-Box, Dolly, the ostrich-riding cowboy, the train with square wheels and more. The larger-than-life Abominable Snow Monster is great fun to see and a favorite among kids.

The costumes, set design and puppets are spot on in comparison to the TV classic, and Dana Solimando’s direction and choreography is outstanding. In fact, much of the choreography in the show is reminiscent of the stop-motion animation movements from the TV special.

At the heart of the show is the story about each individual’s uniqueness and that we all are special in our own way. That notion is as alive and well on stage just as powerfully as it’s been for the past five decades on TV. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical is a surefire hit and a wonderfully unforgettable experience for your entire family this holiday season.

Chad Young is the managing editor and arts/entertainment editor for this publication.

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