Should it matter that he's a moose and not a reindeer? After all, a moose can dream, too. And Mooseltoe dreams of one day leading Santa's team of reindeer around the world on Christmas Eve.

Find out if that happens when "Mooseltoe the Moosical" makes its way to the Manship Theatre stage on Sunday, Dec. 3.

The traveling musical was created by Jim Semmelman and is performed by a group of actors and creative staff who come together each holiday season to take the show on the road.

"This will be our 15th season of doing this," Semmelman says. "We usually stick to the northeastern states, because it's cost-prohibitive, but we're expanding this year. And it will be our first time in Baton Rouge."

Semmelman created Mooseltoe's story while working for the Venture department store chain in St. Louis.

"Venture was like Target," he says. "They commissioned me to promote this stuffed moose, and I came up with the idea of Mooseltoe, and we staged performances for underprivileged children."

But Semmelman saw new possibilities for his moose after he moved to New York. Working for NBC's "Today" show at the time, he got some of the show's staff involved, including weatherman Al Roker.

"Al narrates the show," Semmelman says. "It's recorded. The show is recorded with voices from Broadway, including Christopher Plummer. The stage actors are in costume."

The musical follows Mooseltoe as he pursues his seemingly impossible dream while learning many valuable lessons along the way.

"This show is tailored for kids between 3 and 9, and it addresses so many things that are prevalent to them today, including believing in yourself, bullying and having a dream," Semmelman says. "But these things are woven into the show. They're subtle."

The show features 17 characters, including three snobby penguins, an Edward G. Robinsonesque snowman and a fat walrus named Willy. Of course, Santa and his elves are there as Mooseltoe sets out to find the wise Mooseking who's supposed to have all the answers.

Semmelman later authored the accompanying children's book, "Mooseltoe: A Moose and A Dream." Copies of the book will be available for purchase after the show.

So what's next for Mooseltoe?

"It's my goal to see Mooseltoe as one of the balloons in the Macy's (Thanksgiving Day) parade," he says, laughing. "Either that or an animated Christmas special for network television. There hasn't been a new animated special for the holidays in a while, and this would play well on a network."


Mooseltoe the Moosical

WHEN: 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Dec. 3.

WHERE: Manship Theatre in the Shaw Center of the Arts, 100 Lafayette St.

TICKETS/INFO: $20, plus fees. (225) 344-0334 or manshiptheatre.org.

Follow Robin Miller on Twitter, @rmillerbr.