Synopsis: Buddy the Elf was an orphan who crawled into Santa’s sack one Christmas Eve. Santa was unaware until he returned back to the North Pole. When discovered, Santa and the Elves decide to raise Buddy as one of their own. He does not realize he is not an elf until he is a grown man. After this discovery he confronts Santa who fills him in on the details. Buddy then embarks on a journey to New York City to find his father and discover his identity. Unfortunately for Buddy, the world is a bit harsher than he understood. We watch his personal journey unfold before us on the stage.
children under 4 not permitted in theater
My family recently had the opportunity to attend the new holiday hit Elf The Broadway Musical at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre. If I had to sum up our experience in just a few words I’d have to say it was a fun way to kick off the holiday season with the whole family. The show did not lack in laughs and kept us entertained throughout the whole performance. My son was sitting on the edge of his seat the whole time!
The adult take:
I enjoyed the movie Elf and so I was really curious to see how they transformed it into a musical. While the script differs from that of the movie, it was a wonderful adaptation. I really enjoyed the musical numbers a lot. They throw in some local and current references and humor to further customize the show and help up the laugh factor. If you have never seen the movie, you will see that is a lighthearted way to deliver slightly bigger messages of Christmas spirit and personal growth.
The performances were wonderful and the cast included some familiar faces. Sebastian Arcelus captured the spirit of Buddy and had a great comedic delivery. Amy Spanger (known from law and Order: SVU) had the perfect combination of warmth, sarcasm, and comedy for her role as Jovie. Remember Norm from Cheers? You’ll find George Wendt gracing the stage as Santa himself.
One of the best parts was that it appealed to people of all ages. Our party of 3 was multi-generational being me, my mom and my eight year old son and we all liked the show. When I looked around the audience there were many children present from approximately ages 4 through teens. My son stayed engaged and interested during the entire performance.
I would like to point out here though, that there are a few cuss words and adult oriented jokes used. They weren’t plentiful but they were there. My son did not seem to notice the language and I’m sure the jokes went over his head.
I asked my mom to weigh in with her opinions of the show. She found it very enjoyable and really liked how it appealed to everyone. She enjoyed the original music and felt that the performance was animated enough to keep the kids involved. She would recommend it to families looking to get into the holiday spirit.
The kid’s take:
There were lots of funny moments. I liked that the kid and the mom start to believe in Santa. The music was good and I liked the decorations.
The final take:
If you liked the movie Elf then you will love the musical debut on Broadway. Haven’t seen the movie? No worries! That gives you a fresh perspective to discover the story of Buddy. If you have a chance to see it during its limited run, it is worth the trip. Your entire family will come out cheering for Buddy and feeling the Christmas spirit. You may even find yourself singing because “the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear”.
We had wonderful seats located front row, center of the mezzanine. In my opinion these were probably the best seats in the house. However, observing the layout of the theater, it didn’t appear there was a bad seat to be had.
Disclosure: This review is based on a complimentary visit to Elf The Broadway Musical. I received no other compensation and I was not required to express a particular point of view.