In case you didn’t hear, New York is getting a “Holly Jolly Christmas” this year.
The beloved holiday-season TV special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer comes to the stage December 1-18 at the Theatre at Madison Square Garden.
Tickets for Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical are available at the Madison Square Garden, Beacon Theatre, and Radio City Music Hall box offices, online at Thegarden.com, and at Ticketmaster.com.
Filmed in stop-motion animation by Rankin/Bass Productions, the 47-minute TV special debuted in 1964 and was repeated for many years before being released on home video. It expanded on the 1949 novelty Christmas song of the same title by Johnny Marks (based on a 1939 book by Robert L. May), telling the story of Santa Claus' previously-unknown ninth reindeer, Rudolph, whose nose glowed so brightly it enabled Santa to make his toy-delivering rounds despite a blinding blizzard. The TV special added an ugly-duckling backstory on Rudolph's childhood as a misfit, taunted by the other reindeer, and his friendship with an elf who didn't want to make toys; he wanted to be a dentist. The special contained several new Johnny Marks songs, several of which also became standards, including “Jingle, Jingle, Jingle,” “Silver and Gold,” and “Have a Holly Jolly Christmas.”
Returning to the stage following last year’s tour, the world’s most famous reindeer and a holly jolly cast of iconic characters—including Hermey the Elf, Yukon Cornelius, and the Abominable Snow Monster—help Santa save Christmas during three North American tours visiting 50 cities this holiday season.
The show combines live actors and puppets, who help showcase the charming “roughness” from the television show’s stop-motion effects. In preparation for the New York City premiere, the show reportedly added new flying elements and an enhanced set and scenic design to create a live theatre experience for Rudolph fans.
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