What: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Where: Center for Puppetry Arts
When: Nov. 3 – Dec. 31, 2011, see website for specific times
Cost: $16.50 for ages 2 and older (see below to win four tickets)
I know it’s Halloween, but it’s never too early to be thinking about Christmas right? The holidays just wouldn’t be the holidays without Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. The 1964 TV special was turned into a puppet show at the Center for Puppetry Arts last year and played to sold out crowds. It’s returning again this season and it’s a hot ticket, so make sure to get yours early.
The show uses animation and puppets to tell the story of Rudolph and his band of misfits. It’s a classic story told classically. I appreciate the show follows the TV script exactly, I don’t want anyone messing with my Rudolph. Although you know the story, it’s always interesting to me to see how a film production converts to the stage. This show doesn’t disappoint – using scale to depict difficult scenes, like when Yukon Cornelious and the Bumble fall off the cliff.
The show is only an hour long, so plan to get there a bit early to get situated so you don’t miss anything. For younger kids, seeing the movie beforehand could help them really enjoy the show. There isn’t a bad seat in the house, but members receive up-front seating, so if you’d like those seats, consider becoming a member of the Center for Puppetry Arts.
In addition to a great show, your admission also includes the Create-a-Puppet workshop, where you’ll make a Rudolph shadow puppet (last year we made the string puppet you see in the picture). We did this after the show, but you can come early and do it before the show as well. If you don’t have time to make the puppet while you are there, take it with you and enjoy the craft at home. If you’re kids just LOVE making puppets, stop in the gift shop on your way out. You can purchase puppet kids from past shows. Here are some pictures from our Create-a-Puppet Fun.
A puppet show at the Center is a full-day’s event. In addition to the show and workshop, save a little time and tour the Center’s Museum as well. (If you just want to see the Musuem, it’s free on Thursday’s from 1 – 3 pm) They have a fantastic collection of puppets from past shows and an incredible Jim Henson collection that includes Big Bird. In addition to static exhibits, there is also a section where you can create your own puppet head. It’s sort-of like an expanded Mr. Potato Head. I think it’s fun to see how just turning the eyes around or the mouth piece a certain way changes the whole look and mood of the puppet. A video I did of the Henson exhibit is below.
There are two sections to the Museum. You’ll see the Jim Henson exhibit as you go to the show, but the other section is off a separate hallway. These are puppets from all over the world and from the Center’s past shows. Beware, this section can be a bit scary for little kids and there are some dark puppets. However, there are also several places where you can work the puppets, which everyone always enjoys and generally helps them realize it’s not really scary.