Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer flies into the Lyric - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer flies into the Lyric

Sarah Miller-Crews can’t remember the name of the venue where she stood in the lobby a few weeks ago and first experienced the power of being the world’s most famous reindeer.

“The kids looked at me and asked me if I was Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer,” she said. “I was out of costume. I said I was. I’ll never forget the look on their faces.”

You can't have Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer without having his buddy, Donner. (Lyric)

You can’t have Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer – played by Sarah Miller-Crews – without having Donner by his side. (Lyric)

Miller-Crews, 24, has spent the past two months playing one of Christmas’ most iconic characters as the star in Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical, which has four shows at the Lyric on Dec. 26-27, just a day after Santa has made his annual journey to reward those who have been nice.

“I didn’t realize how big of an impact Rudolph had until I put on the costume,” said Miller-Crews, a native of Austin, Texas, who resides in Los Angeles, where she recently graduated from UCLA. “There’s a lot of pressure playing him.”

Rudolph, who has become as synonymous with Christmas as ornaments and eggnog, has bridged generations, as his story of how his bright nose guided Santa’s sleigh through stormy weather has been featured on TV annually since 1954.

“It’s a story everyone knows,” Miller-Crews said. “Everyone loves his joyful, special spirit, so you have to be extremely faithful to that and not misrepresent it.”

But Rudolph’s ability to light a path for Santa so he could deliver presents to all the good kids around the world is just a small part of his identity. Rudolph’s rise from outcast to out-in-front of the sleigh is a story that holds as much meaning today as it did when he was introduced to the world in the book Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Shines Again more than five decades ago.

Rudolph and Santa Claus will star in Rudolph The Red-nosed Reindeer: The Musical at the Lyric on Dec. 26-27. (Lyric)

Rudolph and Santa Claus will star in Rudolph The Red-nosed Reindeer: The Musical at the Lyric on Dec. 26-27. (Lyric)

“Rudolph didn’t fit in and was looked at as a misfit because he was different,” Miller-Crews said, referring to how Santa’s other reindeer bullied the smaller Rudolph. “But ultimately, what made Rudolph different is what set him apart. I think that’s a great message to give your kids. Being different is not a bad thing; it’s a good thing.”

In the musical, Rudolph is joined on stage by an array of characters played by the 20-person cast, including Santa’s other reindeer, such as Donner, as well as Hermey the Elf, Charlie-In-the-Box, Sam the Snowman, and of course, Mr. and Mrs. Claus.

“The show is true to Rudolph’s story,” Miller-Crew said. “When you go out on stage, the kids are possibly watching Rudolph in front of them for the first time ever. It’s like they are frozen in awe.”

Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical

Where: Modell Performing Arts Center at the Lyric

When: Dec. 26 at 1 p.m., 5 p.m.; Dec. 27 at 1 p.m., 5 p.m.

Tickets: Click here


About the author

Jon Gallo

Jon Gallo is an award-winning journalist and editor with 19 years of experience, including stints as a staff writer at The Washington Post and sports editor at The Baltimore Examiner. He also believes the government should declare federal holidays in honor of the following: the Round of 64 of the NCAA men's basketball tournament; the Friday of the Sweet 16; the Monday after the Super Bowl; and of course, the day after the release of the latest Madden NFL video game. Contact the author.

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