Monday, November 19, 2012

The Best Way to Spread Christmas Cheer is Singing Loud for All to Hear

Photo credit: Joan Marcus
One of my favorite things about December is that it means it´s time for my annual viewing of the movie Elf. I love that movie. A ridiculous amount. So, for me, no other version would ever be able to compare. The musical Elf debuted two years ago on Broadway and it´s back at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre for the holiday season. The good news is that the production, directed and choreographed by the reliable Casey Nicholaw, has improved since then, mostly due to the stronger cast, though I´d still rather watch the movie.

If you haven´t seen the film (you should probably stop reading and watch it right now), Buddy the Elf (Jordan Gelber) was raised Santa´s elves in the North Pole. When he finds out he´s human, he goes to New York to find his father Walter Hobbs (Mark Jacoby). Will Ferrell plays the sweetly naive Buddy in the movie and his are tough shoes to fill. It´s to Gelber´s credit that he doesn´t imitate Ferrell, but makes the lines his own, many recycled from the movie, in the book by Thomas Meehan and Bob Martin.

A Christmas Story is also on Broadway this season and as I have no love for the source material, I was able to enjoy it much more, but both provide laughs, heart, child actors who aren´t annoying (Mitchell Sink in Elf and Johnny Rabe in A Christmas Story), and a way to get into the holiday spirit.

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