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Night Before Christmas


One of the world’s most beloved children’s poems teams up with one of Hollywood’s most beloved stars as legendary entertainer Mickey Rooney narrates “The Night Before Christmas” for Rainbow Puppet Productions. 

 “T’was the Night Before Christmas” was written in 1822 by author Clement C. Moore.  Since that time, it has become a favorite around the world.  And who better to tell the story than Mickey Rooney?  Mr. Rooney has excelled in practically every entertainment medium he’s performed.  He was born into a vaudeville family and practically grew up on stage.  In the 1920’s he starred in silent movies.  By the 1940’s he was the most popular star in Hollywood, appearing in movies with such luminaries as Judy Garland, Spencer Tracey, and James Cagney.  When television arrived, Mickey provided voices to such holiday classics as “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” and “The Year Without Santa Claus.”

 Mr. Rooney began his association with Rainbow Puppet Productions in 2003 when he headlined the 100th anniversary production of “Babes in Toyland.”  Since that time, he has also starred in Rainbow’s productions of “Pirate Party" and “The Tortoise and the Hare.”  Now in his ninth decade of performing, Mickey shows no sign of slowing down.  He appeared in last year’s Disney film “The Muppets.”   Mickey recorded some of his dialogue for this program while on a visit to the Williamsburg Lodge.

 This production features an original score by Rainbow Puppet Productions founder David Messick.  The award-winning playwright has created programs for the Smithsonian Institute, the Virginia Aquarium, and in recognition of the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown. 

 “I’m so happy to be able to combine so many of my favorite Christmas memories into this program,” says Messick.  “There are gingerbread cookies… a reminder of my great-grandmother’s secret recipe.  There is a bell choir sequence where the bells come to life…  a reminder of Christmas-eve services.  We’ve included music from the Nutcracker, one of the very first shows I lit as a teen-ager.  And then you add Mickey Rooney to the mix.  He’s the star of so many of the Christmas television specials I watched as a child.  He even does a dance sequence with a snow man who comes to life.  Remember that from ‘Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer?’”

 Rounding out the vocal talent for the program are many Rainbow Productions veterans including Chris Barlett, James Cooper, Kara Dennison, Steve Scheffler, and Michael Singleton.

 Puppets are hand-crafted by master puppet maker Jill Harrington.  Settings were created by Helen Spaetzel.  Musical arrangements are by Steve Scheffler. 



To schedule a performance for your school or organization, call 757 851-3266.



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Last modified: 06/22/17