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BWW Review: RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER at Titusville Playhouse

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A fun and frolicking stroll down memory lane that makes for a great family-friendly start to the holiday season.

BWW Review: RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER at Titusville Playhouse The holidays, for many of us, are for family, food, and good cheer. They are also a time where tradition plays a major role. From favorite dishes around the holiday table to annual visits to see Santa Claus at the mall, traditions help ground us and connect us to a time when things were simpler. And nothing screams holiday traditions like the annual viewing of Christmas classics like the Claymation staple, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. But this year, that tradition is being brought to technicolor life on stage at the Titusville Playhouse in a new and exciting production of RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER, a stage musical based on the classic Christmas special.

BWW Review: RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER at Titusville Playhouse Titusville Playhouse's production of RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER is the first performance of the show in the US, and the theatre worked with MTI and Broadway Media to create the projections that will be available for future productions. The production is a fun and frolicking stroll down memory lane and makes for a great family-friendly start to the holiday season.

BWW Review: RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER at Titusville Playhouse I imagine there are not many people out there who don't already know the story of Rudolph - but humor me as a summarize for the uninitiated. RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER centers around Christmastown (also known as the North Pole) where snowman, Sam (Michael Coppola) shares with the audience the tale of the storm of the century a few years back where Christmas would have been canceled if it weren't for the bravery (and bright nose) of one reindeer, Rudolph (Sarah McKinney). We meet Santa (Bugs Reinhardt) and Mrs. Claus (Amy McDonald) and the industrious elves who make all of Santa's toys, well, except for one misfit elf, Hermey (Seamus Dougherty) who would rather be a dentist. Rudolph, fresh from a humiliating experience at the reindeer games, decides to run away and on his journey meets fellow misfits, Hermey and Yukon Cornelius (Stewart Egebrecht) the greatest prospector in the north. Chased by the fearsome Abominable Snow Monster (aka Bumble) (Joe Rose) the three travelers end up at the Island of Misfit Toys where the toys beg Rudolph to let Santa know about their plight. Rudolph returns home to find his Dad, Donner (Sean Everts) and Mom, Mrs. Donner (Carrie Roberts) and girlfriend Clarice (Emma Howard) have been lost in the storm looking for him. Some quick thinking and skilled Bumble-dentistry later and everyone is safe. But with the storm so thick, Santa must cancel his flight, until... well, you know the rest.

BWW Review: RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER at Titusville Playhouse In his direction of RUDOLPH, Steven Heron captures everything you would hope to see in a stage version of the classic. The actors move like they are Claymation figures come to life, and the creative design for the show gets it all right. Cliff Price's beautiful and bright and sparkly scenic design gives us the snow-covered hills, Christmas trees, and colored packages we all remember - which frame the digital scenery by Broadway Media seamlessly. The costumes and wigs by Jordyn Linkous, who also serves as Associate Director and Choreographer, capture the bright frocks and furry reindeer extremely well. Luke Atkison's lighting and Spencer Crosswell's sound design (Crosswell also serves as Music Director) give the overall production a holiday glow. The most exciting design aspect, for me, came in the second act when the audience meets the misfit toys. These puppets (by Jonathan Willis and Alex in Wonderland, Inc.) are perfect replicas of their screen counterparts and were a joy to see on stage.

BWW Review: RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER at Titusville Playhouse The cast of RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER all look like they are having the time of their lives, sharing the smiles and good cheer one would expect from such a bubbly and bright piece. Sarah McKinney does a good job bringing the title character to life on stage, as does Seamus Dougherty and Stewart Egebrecht as his traveling pals, Hermey and Yukon. A few other standout performances include Sean Everts' pitch perfect delivery as Boss Elf (I smiled everytime I saw, and heard him), Michael Coppola's warm and friendly Sam, and Joe Rose's hilarious spin with Charlie in a Box.

Overall, Titusville Playhouse's production of RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER is a great opportunity to see this favorite Christmas classic live on stage. It is light, fun and a great option if you are looking for something to bring your kids out to and start off the holidays right.

RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER, presented by Titusville Playhouse, runs through December 19th (including added Saturday matinees at 2:00). Tickets start at $25. Performances take place at the Titusville Playhouse, 301 Julia Street, Titusville, FL 32796. Tickets can be purchased by visiting https://titusvilleplayhouse.com or calling (321) 268-1125.

All Photos by Niko Stamos, Titusville Playhouse

Top Photo: The Cast of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Middle Photo 1: The Cast of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Middle Photo 2: Seamus Dougherty as Hermey & Sarah McKinney as Rudolph

Middle Photo 3: The Cast of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Bottom Photo: Michael Coppola as Sam

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