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Adventure Theatre Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

By • Nov 21st, 2010 • Category: Reviews
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer adapted for the stage by Michael J. Bobbitt
Adventure Theatre
Adventure Theatre, Glen Echo, MD
Through January 2nd
1 hour
$15
Reviewed November 20, 2010, 2010

Now in years past seeing a Christmas show, before December 1st, not to mention before Thanksgiving, let alone a children’s show, would have sent me over the edge. But when my husband saw that Adventure Theatre was performing the stop-motion version of Rudolph, his childhood resurfaced and thus we set out to Glen Echo Park in Maryland to see it. I must say we were not disappointed. The entire cast, all nine playing 21 different characters, got into their characters and had such a good time that it was truly a terrific performance.

Director Michael J. Bobbitt adapted this production from the classic television stop-motion production of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Rudolph is born with a shiny nose and decides that, because he does not fit in to his parent’s or friends’ idea of what makes for an acceptable reindeer he must leave. Along the way he befriends Hermey the Elf whose real calling lies in the dental profession and Yukon Cornelius, a prospector with a taste for silver and gold. He also meets an enemy by the name of the Abominable Snowman. Ultimately Rudolph and the rest learn that being different is ok and Rudolph ends up saving the day because his shiny nose allows him to light the way through a Christmas Eve storm.

The energy was high through out the performance. The cast spoke slowly enough to be understood, yet fast enough so that the performance did not drag. The actors were wonderful, from Rudolph’s (Parker Drown) stopped up nose (and incredibly flying when Clarice (Branda Lock) tells him he’s cute), to Sam the Snowman’s (Russell Sunday) narration. Choreographer Pauline Grossman had lively music and upbeat dancing (the tap dancing during “Jingle Jingle Jingle” was a pleasure) that kept the kids and adults entertained. The costumes were well made and bright, from Santa’s red suit to the brown and tan reindeer outfits, to Clarice’s pink bow in her reindeer hair costume designer Dre Moore utilized bright colors and soft fabrics to make them all stand out. The only minor disappointment was that Rudolph’s nose did not light up. Light Designer Andrew J. Griffin made up for a light in Rudolph’s nose by using red stage lighting, which did not detract from the magic of the show. Joe Musumeci’s set was very creative and flexible, with many surprises along the way.

The adults in the sold-out crowd seemed to be enjoying the show even more than the kids. The use of a snow machine and other special effects kept everyone absorbed and drawn to the action.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is playing through January 2, 2011, with many performances already sold out. Reserve your tickets soon. This is a classic show that will be enjoyed by all.

Cast

  • Mrs. Donner/Dolly/Elf Trio/Townsperson/Bear: Sara Brunow (Caitlin Shea on Nov. 20)
  • Hermey/Fireball/Newspaper Boy: Mikey Cafarelli
  • Rudolph: Parker Drown
  • Donner/Charlie-in-the-Box: S. Lewis Feemster
  • Mrs. Clause/Abominable Snowman: Ayanna Hardy
  • Clarice: Branda Lock
  • Santa/Moon Racer: Christopher Mueller
  • Sam the Snowman/Coach Comet/Mis-fit-toy/Cowboy: Russell Sunday
  • Head Elf/Cornelius: Doug Wilder

Crew

  • Director: Michael J. Bobbitt
  • Music Director: Wayne Chadwick
  • Scenic Designer: Joe Musumeci
  • Choreographer: Pauline Grossman
  • Lighting Designer: Andrew F. Griffin
  • Costume Designer: Kendra Rai
  • Props Designer: Dre Moore
  • Sound Designer: Neil McFadden
  • Puppet Designer: Ksenya Litvak
  • Scenic Artist: Sasha Goldstein
  • Stage Manager: Erin Glasspatrick
  • Assistant Director: Danny Tippett
  • Assistant Stage Manager: Julie Roedersheimer
  • Assistant Stage Manager: Camille Kashaka
  • Costume Design Assistant: Anna St. Germaine
  • Master Electrician: Sarah MacKowski

Disclaimer: Adventure Theatre provided two complimentary media tickets to ShowBizRadio for this review.

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started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.

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