Rudolph the Musical

When Namine was asked what she wanted, she said “experiences, not things.” This was her first Christmas experience.

Namine loves plays and musicals. Knowing this, my Aunt Ginger and Uncle Skip — not really my aunt and uncle, but close friends of the family since forever so they are as close as kin — gave Namine (along with Jessica, myself, and my sister) tickets to see Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical at First Stage Children’s Theater.

The weather outside was indeed sort of frightful, by the time we had to leave. We had to brave a winter storm of our own in getting to the play, so it was a good thing we had left a couple hours ahead of time.

The play itself was nothing short of amazing. Translating a stop-motion animation to a live-action play brings with it all sorts of technical challenges, but it was astoundingly accurate to the original show. Namine’s question, prior to seeing the play, was: “How will they make the abominable snowman?” She thought perhaps that it would be a tall man, but none of us expected a giant puppet controlled (with surprising precision) by three men.

When the show was done, Namine declared her favorite part (despite her amazement with the abominable snowman) to be when Rudolph first flew. Rudolph was played by a child (as were the other like-aged reindeer as well as most of the elves), and he flew by being stage-lifted by what I think of as the “scenery adults.”

During the play, the puppets and scenery were moved around by adults dressed all in white, so they blended in with the backdrop. With a little bit of imagination (and Namine has no lack of that), it was easy to look past the people dressed in white and see the scenery moving all on its own: the flying reindeer, the elves tossed about by the windy storm, the singing and talking toys.

It was a great night, and all four of us had a fantastic time. We always love seeing First Stage productions, and this was no exception.

Namine got a reindeer hat, too. She has scarcely taken it off since.

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