Broadway Sacramento has launched its new season with the fluffy and sugar-dusted confection, Elf the Musical, and the show is a holiday treat for the whole family.
Elf the Musical is based on the hit 2003 Will Farrell movie about Buddy, a young orphan child who crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts one Christmas Eve and is transported back to the North Pole. Unaware that he is actually human, Buddy’s enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth. With Santa’s encouragement, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father, discover his true identity, and help New Yorkers remember the true meaning of Christmas.
It’s interesting to note that there are two national tours of Elf the Musical right now, the ‘A’ tour – an Actor’s Equity company — and the ‘B’ tour – a non-union production. Although the Sacramento production is the non-union show, it’s hard to imagine a better cast, from Maggie Anderson’s slightly cynical Jovie to the lovely Gabrielle Mirabella as Emily to D. Scott Withers as Buddy’s dad, Walter.
Audra Qualley as the wisecracking secretary, Deb, and Michael Fisher as the Store Manager are show stoppers, but none of it would work without the right performer as Buddy. Happy to say that Daniel Patrick Smith is spot on. Smith’s ingenuous take on the erstwhile Elf is sweet and funny, and will make you forget Will Farrell before you can say, “Cotton-Headed, Ninny Muggins”.
Die hard Elf movie fans be warned: the beloved Papa Elf – played in the film by Bob Newhart – is replaced as the show’s narrator by Santa – ably played by the very droll, Ken Clement.
Tom Meehan (The Producers) and Bob Martin (The Drowsy Chaperone) who co-wrote the book for Elf, bring just the right, light touch to the show and some sly lines that will appeal to grown-ups. And although songwriters and Tony Award nominees Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin’s (The Wedding Singer) tunes may not become holiday classics, they tie the show up with a nice little Christmas bow.
Elf the Musical is an ideal show for the whole family, but it should be noted that it is not a flashy, razzle-dazzle holiday extravaganza. Elf has fun, charm…and heart. Park your inner Scrooge at the front door and you’ll have a lovely time.
Elf the Musical runs through Sunday, November 15 at the Community Center Theater, 1301 L Street, Sacramento. Evening performances are Sunday, Nov. 8 at 7:30pm ; Tuesday, Nov. 10, Wednesday, Nov. 11 and Thursday, Nov. 12 at 8:00 pm; and Friday, Nov. 13 and Saturday, Nov. 14 at 6:30pm. Matinee performances are Sunday, Nov. 8 and Thursday, Nov. 12 at 2:00pm and Saturday, Nov. 14 and Sunday, Nov. 15 at 1:00pm.
For tickets and more information visit californiamusicaltheatre.com.