SALT LAKE CITY — They may “work hard all day,” but the “work is play” — or nearly — for the actors in the national touring production of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical.”
“The show is a joy to be a part of. I think that we are all having so much fun performing,” said Sarah Miller-Crews, who plays Rudolph. “I think it’s just because of the story and the way it’s told that it’s sort of impossible not to have a good time doing it and not to have a good time watching it.”
The musical will touch down at the Capitol Theatre in Salt Lake City for five performances Nov. 20-22.
Miller-Crews told the Deseret News the show is “extremely faithful” to CBS’ 1964 stop-motion animated classic.
“The lines are the same, and the songs are the same,” she said. “Our goal is to bring the original television special to life onstage. … A lot of the casting process is focused on making sure that I sound like Rudolph, and that is ultimately why I was cast as Rudolph is because I can sound like him.”
The costumes and set also are designed to maintain the feeling of the animated special, according to a news release.
The story follows a young reindeer named Rudolph, who is shunned by his community because of his shiny, red nose, and decides to set out on his own.
“Rudolph is different than everybody else,” Miller-Crews said. “He, along the way, meets Hermey the elf, who is also different from all the other elves, and together they — even though they feel out of place and they feel different — can celebrate their differences, and they can belong. They accept each other.”
Rudolph and Hermey encounter others who are misunderstood, including Yukon Cornelius, the inhabitants of the Island of Misfit Toys and the Abominable Snow Monster, before returning home to help save Christmas.
“Eventually, Rudolph saves the day, so his differences are celebrated in that way,” Miller-Crews said. “And I love that because I think everyone goes through a period of their life where they feel different or they feel out of place, and I think sometimes it’s easy to feel like those differences aren’t necessarily a good thing. But what I love about this story is it’s really telling us that it’s OK to be different, and it’s a good thing to be different, and different can save the day.”
The production is expanding on a campaign it launched last year to benefit PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center, according to the news release.
“In this partnership the idea is that, just like Rudolph’s red nose makes him shine bright, we all have unique qualities that make us shine bright,” Miller-Crews said. “This show likes to celebrate those differences and those unique qualities that every person has. … It’s not just a story about the holidays. It does have this deeper, special meaning that I think is really important for people of all ages but especially kids.”
If you go …
What: ”Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical” national tour
When: Nov. 20, 8 p.m.; Nov. 21, 1, 4 and 7 p.m.; and Nov. 22, 1 p.m.
Where: Capitol Theatre, 50 W. 200 South, Salt Lake City
How much: $37.50-$68.50