Those Silly Reindeer | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Those Silly Reindeer

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Those Silly Reindeer!, at WNEP Theater. This Christmas children's musical certainly begins with the right ingredients: Santa and a snow princess, both of whom inspired sighs of happiness from the four-to-nine-year-olds in the audience. Snow princess Holli (Adrienne Woodworth) goes on vacation right before Christmas--leaving the north pole to melt. Without snow the reindeer can't fly, because the grass tickles their hooves. And without reindeer, of course, Santa (a ditsy J. Preddie Predmore) can't visit the children of the world. On his orders, Jack the bird (Kevin Lowry) and Lee Lee the hot dog-loving Christmas tree (a supercool, fine-voiced Daryl Brooks) set out to find Holli and bring her home.

In a strange plot twist Holli has a cell phone. But Jack and Lee Lee decide not to let their fingers do the walking--they'd rather fly around the world in search of her. Predmore and Jenny Lamb collaborated on the book and music, and altogether their easy-to-follow story, sympathetic characters, and upbeat if not memorable songs make this a sweet holiday show for children and an enjoyable one for parents, though frequent blackouts inspired restlessness and the choice of "Let It Snow" as the sole sing-along number confused the young folks (and grown-ups) who didn't know the words. Ann Davis's costumes are exceptional, especially her dapper zoot-suit Christmas tree outfit, complete with hat.

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