“Elf The Musical” is returning to Broadway for a nine week limited run this Christmas season. The musical comedy will open on November 9, 2012 and will close on January 6, 2013. The production will play at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre, the same venue where “Elf” originally opened on November 14, 2010.
“Elf The Musical” is based off of the 2003 comedic film of the same name. It’s the story of Buddy, an orphan child who unknowingly climbs into Santa’s toy bag and travels back with Santa to the North Pole. Buddy is raised by the elves and therefore thinks he is an elf, until his large 6-foot-3 size and lack of toy making skills makes him see the truth. Buddy decides to set out on a journey to New York City in order to find his birth dad. Buddy finds his dad and step-brother, but he also finds out that they don’t believe in the spirit of Christmas. Buddy then makes it his job to help his family and other New Yorkers remember the true meaning of Christmas.
Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures, the live stage division of Warner Bros. Entertainment is presenting the production. The cast has yet to be announced. The director and choreographer of “Elf” will be Tony Award winner Casey Nicholaw (“The Book of Mormon,” “The Drowsy Chaperone”). The score will be by Tony Award nominees Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin. The book was adapted by Tony Award winners Thomas Meehan (“The Producers,” “Hairspray”) and Bob Martin (“The Drowsy Chaperone”).
According to the New York Times, “The last time ‘Elf’ came along the show received some tough reviews (Charles Isherwood in the New York Times was definitely not amused) but it was successful at the box office.” In 2010 over 58 performances at the Hirschfeld’s box office, the musical broke records three times. During Christmas week it grossed $1,572,835.50, according to Playbill.com.
In 2010, the original production played a nine week run starring Sebastian Arcelus as Buddy, Amy Spanger as Jovie, Beth Leavel as Emily, Matthew Gumley as Michael, Marc Jacoby as Walter and George Wendt as Santa.
Throughout this holiday season there will be steep competition for “Elf.” The Radio City Christmas Spectacular, the adaptation of “A Christmas Story,” and the national tour of “Dr. Seuus’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” will all try to win over audiences.
The scenic designer is Tony nominee David Rockwell (“Hairspray,” “Catch Me if You Can”), costume designer is Tony Award winner Gregg Barnes (“Follies,” “The Drowsy Chaperone”), lighting designer is Tony Award winner Natasha Katz (“Once,” “The Coast of Utopia”) and the sound designer is Tony nominee Peter Hylenski (“Rock of Ages,” “On a Clear Day You Can See Forever”). The musical comedy will also feature orchestrations by Tony Award winner Doug Besterman (“The Producers,” “Thoroughly Modern Millie”).
“The production is a tight, polished affair that has enough jokes for adults and enough special effects for the kids,” according to Mark Kennedy of the Associated Press.
Tickets have not been released yet. To sign up for updates on the production visit Elfmusical.com. For those who can’t make it to Broadway this holiday season there are other productions of “Elf the Musical” in cities across the country including Providence, RI; Seattle, WA; and Saint Paul, MN.