Holiday TV classic takes the stage

Holiday TV classic takes the stage

The cast brings high energy to classic songs and dialogue while puppets highlight the “roughness” from the television show’s stop-motion effects.


“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical,” the stage adaptation of the highest rated Christmas TV special of all time, will come to the Performing Arts Center at Kent State University Tuscarawas on Nov. 26 at 7:30 p.m.

In 1964 the animated classic made its network television debut. “‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical’ is a new way to experience this family tradition,” producing partner Jonathan Flom said.

Projections, costumes and characters are faithfully brought to the stage against a backdrop of nostalgic set designs with an over 12-foot-tall Abominable Snow Monster. The cast will perform the classic songs and dialogue while puppets will highlight the show’s stop-motion effects.

“The familiar story elements from the television special are addressed with a cast and puppeteers who help recreate the magic on stage,” Flom said.

Because the special is a classic musical, the stage show does not feel like an adaptation, and audiences also will see performances of songs such as “Fame and Fortune” and “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” which are heard but not performed in the TV special.

The story tells the tale of a young Rudolph who, because of the appearance of his bright, shining nose, is excluded from the Reindeer Games. He flees Christmastown and meets up with new friends Hermey the Elf and Yukon Cornelius. After finding The Island of Misfit Toys, Rudolph journeys home, where a snowstorm of epic proportions is threatening Christmas. Can Rudolph rescue his family and friends and help Santa save the holiday?

Tickets for “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical” start at $40 and are on sale at the Performing Arts Center box office, by calling 330-308-6400 or online at The box office is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Performing Arts Center’s 2019-20 season is sponsored by Michael Taylor Insurance and Financial Incorporated, an Allstate Agency.

Free parking is available for all shows. Kent State Tuscarawas is located at 330 University Drive NE in New Philadelphia.

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