I would have liked to take my granddaughter, Molly, to see “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical” at the Rosemont Theatre tonight, but she had another commitment. There were lots of other small people sitting all around me, however, who thoroughly enjoyed “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”. Although I thought it ran a tad long, I give it 3 ½ Spotlights.
The “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” tour was such a hit last year, the producers have sent three separate touring companies out this year. One dropped in at the Rosemont Theatre to dazzle the small set with jolly characters, colorful costumes, interesting puppets and lots of music.
This a pretty good stage adaptation of the 1964 animated TV classic. According to my friend Nancy, who claims to be a Rudolph aficionado, the addition of “Rockin’ around the Christmas Tree” is the only real difference. Nancy told me her father served with Burl Ives’ cousin in World War II, so of course, the TV show – and the story – became an annual tradition.
The Snowman – who sounds just like Burl Ives – narrates the story, leading off with Ives’ holiday hit, “A Holly Jolly Christmas”. The characters include Rudolph; several other reindeer including his Dad, Donner, his Mom and his girlfriend Clarice; a bald, skinny Santa, Mrs. Claus and the elves; Hermey, an Elf who wants to be a dentist; a prospector, Yukon Cornelius; the Misfit Toys and the Abominable Snow Monster. I can’t say who played the characters because the press kit didn’t include a cast list.
In addition to “Holly Jolly Christmas”, the show included songs like “Jingle, Jingle Reindeer”, “When Santa Claus Gets Your Letter”, “Rockin’ around the Christmas Tree” and of course, a rousing cast rendition of title song, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”, followed by an audience sing-along.
The lobby is well supplied with reindeer related stuff to buy. I saw blinking red noses, antler hats, stuffed animals, books and toys, most in the $20 range. Just in case the kids weren’t excited enough, popcorn, cotton candy and sodas were on sale too.
“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” continues for three performances (11:00 am, 2:00 pm & 7:00 pm) on Saturday, December 19th at the Rosemont Theatre, 5400 North River Rd, Rosemont. Running time is about 1 hour 30 minutes with an intermission. Tickets range from $29.50-$75. Parking is $13 in the theater lot. FYI (866) 448-7849 or www.ticketmaster.com.
To see what others said, visit www.theatreinchicago.com, go to Review Round-Up and click at “Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer”