Next to Santa Claus, there's probably no other fictional Christmas character who's more famous than Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
The ostracized misfit who ends up leading Santa and his other eight flying caribou safely through a stormy Christmas Eve has been a popular part of the season for more than 75 years, when he first appeared in a booklet written by Robert L. Mays for Montgomery Ward. Rudolph's fame spread around the world, and his story has been adapted into a classic children's song and an annually popular animated TV show that's been shown for more than 50 years.
That TV show has been adapted into a stage show, and it's coming to the Straz Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa for two shows on Saturday.
"Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical" is aimed squarely at youngsters, but from the photos its looks to be a faithful reproduction of the TV show.
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Details: Dec. 12, Morsani Hall at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N. MacInnes Place, Tampa. Show times: 1 and 4 p.m. Tickets: $20-$55.50 plus service charge and up. Information: 813-229-7827, strazcenter.org.
-- Marty Clear