Everyone's favorite outcast is coming to Savannah for one night only this holiday season, and bringing an important lesson with him.
The "most famous reindeer of all" from the longest running and highest rated holiday television special returns live on stage with the critically acclaimed "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical" on Dec. 21 at Johnny Mercer Theatre.
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 help Santa save the holiday?
The cast, led by Natalie MacDonald in the titular role, brings high energy to classic songs and dialogue, while irresistible and loveable puppets help spread the message of inclusion.
"This show is for everyone who feels out of place at some point of his or her life," said MacDonald.
The transition into this role was an easy one, MacDonald said, as she often felt like an outsider herself growing up.
"I can empathize with Rudolph. For me, I was homeschooled, so when I would hang out with people my age, I didn't always fit in or understand their inside jokes," she said. "But Rudolph is kind, despite being bullied. He doesn't understand what he has to offer in the beginning, but he will learn and he will learn that he's not alone.
"His kindness is a good lesson for us all."
MacDonald invites all of the misfits to the theater for this sentimental event. The iconic cast of characters, along with projections and colorful costumes, are faithfully brought to the stage against a backdrop of nostalgic set designs.
And in keeping with the theme, the musical's partnership with PACER's National Bullying Prevention Center continues this year. The show offers a free tool kit to teachers that leverages the powerful messages from the Rudolph story to teach important character values. In addition, a portion of proceeds from sales of the new book, "T.E.A.M. Rudolph and the Reindeer Games," will be donated to PACER.
IF YOU GO
What: "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical"
When: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 21
Where: Savannah Civic Center, 301 W. Oglethorpe Ave.
Info: rudolphthemusical.com or savannahcivic.com