Everybody loves Buddy the Elf. His story sold out at the Rose Theater last holiday season, so it's bringing it back this year. "Elf" follows Buddy to New York City on his funny and heartwarming quest to find his human dad. Seems he hid in Santa's bag when he was a baby and flew back to the North Pole with the reindeer.
Buddy (Dan Chevalier) is the world's biggest optimist, and he's plopped down in a cynical world where people no longer embrace Christmas magic. And he has something to say about that. His presence transforms the impersonal and unfriendly city into a more hopeful, neighborly (and magical) place.
Buddy also helps his dad, dad's wife and little brother connect and discover what's important in life.
"The show demonstrates a certain kind of antidote to that voice inside of us that says the world is getting worse," says Matt Gutschick, executive director at the Rose, who's directing the musical for the second year. "Maybe that is true, but there is also this alternative point of view that little acts of kindness can create fuel for others to engage in the same sort of activities. That's what we see Buddy do, and 'Elf' shows us the impact that can have on others."
Some songs and choreography from last year is updated.
"We've added some music, especially in the finale. It's an all-brand-new number," said choreographer Sue Gillespie Booton.
The majority of the adult cast is back but most of the student actors are new.
"They bring a whole new energy and new life" to the production, said music director Jerry Brabec.
Most performances already have limited availability. Because of that, performances have been added on select Saturdays.
"Elf," which was on Broadway, features songs by Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin and a book by Thomas Meehan and Bob Martin.
BY BETSIE FREEMAN