Theater: Elf

Opened: November 14, 2010

Book by: Bob Martin & Thomas Meehan

Music by: Matthew Sklar

Lyrics by: Chad Beguelin

Original Broadway Cast: Sebastian Arcelus, Amy Spanger, Beth Leavel, George Wendt, Mark Jacoby, Michael Mandell, Michael McCormick, Valerie Wright, Matthew Gumley, Timothy J. Alex, Lisa Gajda, Asmeret Ghebremichael, Blake Hammond, Jenny Hill, Emily Hsu, Nancy Johnston, Matt Loehr, Michael James Scott, Noah Weisberg, Lee Wilkins & Kirsten Wyatt

Trying to bring this classic Christmas movie with Will Ferrell’s larger than life performance as “Buddy the Elf” to the Broadway stage was never going to be an easy feat.

Buddy (Sebastian Arcelus) finds out that he isn’t an elf and leaves the North Pole to find his father (Mark Jacoby). He finds his appearance unwelcome and tries to merge into the real world with difficulty.

Arcelus does a fine job as Buddy and brings a ton of energy to the role. Unfortunately, it’s hard not to compare him to Ferrell, whose excitement level goes above and beyond.

Perhaps the best in the cast are Beth Leavel and Matthew Gumley as Emily and Michael Hobbs. They hardly get enough stage time, but their song “There Is a Santa Claus” steals the show.

Final say: Fun for Christmas, but ultimately forgettable. ★★★☆☆

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