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Elf the musical, Broadway, review December 30, 2010

Posted by ronannarbor in Broadway Musicals, musical theater.
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With plenty of scrooges in the New York media, it was with a bit of trepidation that I approached Elf, The Musical, currently playing at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre through the holidays. I’m happy to report that those scrooges were wrong, and the show is a delight.

Granted, this is not Les Miz that we are talking about here, but a lighthearted, Christmas-filled holiday confection based on the Will Farrell movie.

Here, Buddy is played with humor and charm by Sebastian Arcelus. Amy Spangler makes a jolly foil as Jovie. Beth Leavel (as Emily) and Mark Jacoby (Walter) are fine parents; and George Wendt a funny Santa. Matthew Gumley is a funny and talented younger brother Michael (okay, he had a funnier part in The Addams Family, but hey, this is Elf)…

The cast sings and dances and mugs and cavorts about the stage, with clever set design, solid direction, and plenty of holiday cheer. The music and lyrics are by Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguilin (The Wedding Singer) and book by Thomas Meehan and Bob Martin. The story and book hold pretty true to the original movie (“Santa! I know him!!”) but offers plenty of up-to-date humor to keep you on your toes (Santa: “Now where is that iPad app naughty list…oops, that’s not it, that’s Angry Birds…”)

Completely entertaining and fun, the show is sure to return for at least one more season next year in NYC, and most likely will have a future tour. See it for some lighthearted and fun holiday cheer. Don’t expect much more than that.

For a relatively long video look at the show, take a look here: