Santa and his team of magical reindeer will soon be landing in Greensburg.
The 40-city North American touring production of “Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer: The Musical,” which took flight Nov. 16 in Dayton, Ohio, will stop at The Palace Theatre for one performance, on Nov. 28, presented by Westmoreland Cultural Trust.
The show is a stage adaptation of TV’s animated longest-running holiday special, which has been entertaining families since its debut in 1964.
It tells the story of a young Rudolph, who leaves his home in Christmastown because he is excluded from the Reindeer Games due to his bright, shining red nose. He makes new friends Hermey the Elf and Yukon Cornelius and spends time on the Island of Misfit Toys before deciding to head back home, only to find a blizzard that threatens Santa’s Christmas Eve journey.
In the end, his courage — and his bright nose that shines like a beacon in the night – makes Rudolph a holiday hero.
Donning the reindeer suit and red nose to portray Rudolph on the tour is Shelby Talley, a young actress from Sherman Oaks, Calif., and recent musical theater graduate of University of California, Los Angeles.
Talley, who says the musical production is “my first big job out of college,” is excited to take on the role. Songs she sings as Rudolph include “Couple of Misfits” with Hermey, “There’s Always Tomorrow” with Clarice, and the title song at the close of the show.
Recreating the magic
Producing partner Jonathan Flom says the musical is a wonderful way to experience the family tradition.
“The familiar story elements from the television special are addressed with a talented cast and puppeteers who help recreate the magic onstage,” he says.
“The stage show does not feel at all like an adaptation,” he adds, “and audiences are surprised and delighted when they see performances of songs such as ‘Fame and Fortune’ and ‘Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree’ that are heard but not performed in the TV special.”
Talley says the musical is nostalgic and will touch several generations.
“It’s really a magical experience that will be a favorite for the whole family,” she says.
Candy Williams is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.