The enthusiastic audience at DeVos Performance Hall laughed off their calorie laden Thanksgiving day dinners with the antics of Buddy the Elf.
ELF is the hilarious tale of Buddy, a young orphan child who mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported back to the North Pole.
Remember the Will Ferrel movie Elf? This musical delight is based on that movie. Buddy doesn’t know that he is human and he slowly begins to realize that he is not really an elf. He travels on a trip to NYC to find his father, his identity and helps everyone he comes in contact with be reminded of the true meaning of Christmas.
This musical features songs by Tony Award nominees Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin (The Wedding Singer), with a book by Tony Award winners Thomas Meehan and Bob Martin.
Daniel Patrick Smith plays the role of Buddy with infectious enthusiasm, a sunny spirit and an animated style that makes the audience fall in love with his character. In his dialogue, he tells us all how he loves to smile–“Smiling is my favorite.” The audience smiles right along with him throughout the show. The humor throughout the show is endearingly goofy.
Connor Gallagher’s choreography is inventive to say the least. I haven’t had the opportunity to see tap dancing elves doing cartwheels and performing complex dance moves on their knees. Everyone onstage really sold the musical numbers both vocally and physically.
It was great to see a show where vocal projection, proper articulation and diction were executed in a manner where audience members didn’t miss a word, lyric, or punchline. The collection of hard working cast members should be commended on this.
Set designer Christine Peters created colorful sets that moved seamlessly into place from the North Pole to New York City. The end scene where Santa’s sleigh flew effortlessly through the sky created gasps of wonder from young and old alike.
My favorite number was “Sparklejollytwinkeljingley” because of the unbridled enthusiasm and sense of fun brought to this show-stopper. “Nobody Cares About Santa” was another great song–especially after doing shopping on Black Friday. The song features a group of criticized Kris Kringles that lament on the yuletide not being what it once was.
Audience members will experience plenty of yuletide cheer served up with goofy humor, and sprinkled with light heartedness. Go see Elf!