You sang the song. You watched the TV special. But nothing can prepare you for the wonder of seeing Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer at the Center for Puppetry Arts.
This is the third year the Center has produced the classic children’s holiday tale. Based on the familiar 1964 stop-motion animated special that airs every year, this charming adaptation is witty, festive and fun.
Just in case you have never heard the story, it begins when one of Santa’s reindeer becomes a papa. But there’s something different about this fawn: He has a bright red nose! Little Rudolph tries to hide his difference, but when his unusual nose is discovered, he is rejected by the other reindeer. He runs away, befriends some fellow misfits, and in the end, saves the day. Rudolph and his friends defeat the scary Abominable Snow Monster that torments Christmastown. When Santa needs a light to see through a storm on Christmas Eve, that shiny red nose leads the way. The sweet story reinforces important lessons about diversity, tenacity and kindness.
You and your family will enjoy singing along, laughing at the antics of silly elves, and being “fun”-scared of the Abominable Snow Monster. At the end of the show, the six talented puppeteers reveal themselves and briefly explain to the audience how they do some of the magic. The “Rudolph Unwrapped” performances include a behind-the-scenes live video feed.
Included in the ticket cost is admission to museum exhibits and the Create-A-Puppet workshop, where you can make your own Hermey the Elf shadow puppet. Damon Young, the lead teaching artist, helped my son and another boy put together their Hermey puppets and showed them how to manipulate their elf.
Buy your tickets now, especially for weekend shows, which often sell out.
Open since 1978, the Center for Puppetry Arts has an ever-changing schedule of performances for kids of all ages – even grownups. Go for Rudolph – and you’ll be back!
– Sherry V. Crawley
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Center for Puppetry Arts; 1404 Spring St. NW, Atlanta; 404-873-3391; puppet.org
When: Through Jan. 6; show times vary daily.
Cost: $16.50 ages 2 and older; $20.50 for the “Rudolph Unwrapped” option.