Have holly jolly time with live Ru­dolph mu­si­cal in Wilkes- Barre

The Republican Herald - This Weekend - - News - BY CHAR­LOTTE L. JA­COB­SON STAFF WRITER cja­cob­son@ cit­i­zensvoice. com; 570821- 2061

Even the most fa­mous rein­deer of all has his bad dayswhen it comes to fit­ting in.

The clas­sic story of Ru­dolph the Red- Nosed Rein­deer— whose shin­ing red nose ex­cluded him from play­ing rein­deer games, lead­ing him to flee to the Is­land of Mis­fit Toys— flies into F. M. Kirby Cen­ter for the Per­form­ing Arts, WilkesBarre, onWed­nes­day. The mu­si­cal pro­duc­tion based on the 1964 stop- mo­tion tele­vi­sion spe­cial starts at 6: 30 p. m., and doors open at 5.

“Ru­dolph the Red- Nosed Rein­deer: The Mu­si­cal” keeps true to the essence of the orig­i­nal tele­vi­sion spe­cial, even us­ing cos­tumes, pup­pets and sets rem­i­nis­cent of the clay­ma­tion used in the orig­i­nal spe­cial, saidNatalie MacDon­ald, who plays Ru­dolph. Af­ter two suc­cess­ful years of tour­ing North Amer­ica, the holly jolly cast of char­ac­ters— in­clud­ing Her­mey the Elf, Yukon Cor­nelius and theAbom­inable SnowMon­ster— bring the showto life­with fa­vorite songs, in­clud­ing “Fame and For­tune,” “Rockin’Around the Christ­mas Tree,” “Sil­ver and Gold” and “Holly Jolly Christ­mas.”

“When kids see the­movie and then they see the show, what they sawon TV­comes to life,” MacDon­ald said. “Kids love it, aswell as the grand­par­ents and the par­entswho grewup with it. I just­want to point out how in­cred­i­ble this showis for all gen­er­a­tions ... and howspe­cial that is, howrare it is for some­thing to last so long in this dig­i­tal age­when sto­ries last two sec­onds and then they’re gone.”

MacDon­ald al­ways con­nected with Ru­dolph’s story be­cause she­was home­schooled as a child.

“I think that ev­ery­one in their life comes upon a time when they felt like a mis­fit. ... I very much lovedmy up­bring­ing, but with kids my age I some­times had a hard time re­lat­ing to them,” she said. “I was tak­ing col­lege classes and was al­ways around peo­ple older than me, so hang­ing out­with kidsmy age, I felt like a mis­fit.”

Many of the tech­ni­cal as­pects of the show­make it spe­cial forMacDon­ald, in­clud­ing the mo­men­twhen she flies across the stage, and howthe cast, cre­wand pro­duc­tion team­work to­gether to make each mo­ment­mag­i­cal.

“The show­gives off a very poignant mes­sage,” MacDon­ald said.“We’ve re­ally built up this anti- bul­ly­ing cam­paign with ‘ Ru­dolph.’ Kids can come see that all of our dif­fer­ences thatwe have can be brought to the ta­ble and make so­ci­ety bet­ter. It’s a re­ally im­por­tant mes­sage for kids and par­ents and grand­par­ents alike.”

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