One of the main themes of Elf — The Musical is the importance of bringing the Christmas spirit back to a downtrodden, overworked and gloomy population of Americans that we call typical New Yorkers. Well, it does as exactly what it says on the tin, as they say. The rest of us probably lap up watching Will Ferrell don that beautifully ridiculous green costume every single December. The magical aspect of the musical adaptation, of course, is seeing Buddy come to life in the eyes of the countless children in the audience. I must admit I had never visited the gargantuan Theater at Madison Square Garden before and I was curious to experience a musical in that setting. With a capacity of around 5, — five times larger than a typical theater on Broadway — it certainly offers a unique experience in New York City. The upside, however - and this really knocked my bell-jingling socks off — is the enormous sound system that amplifies the live piece orchestra, who are fully visible on the right hand side of the auditorium. The musical remains mostly unaltered since its Broadway debut in and revival in , and remains as brightly-colored as a row of frosted pop tarts.
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This spectacle caps a sparkling, high-tech production at Carpenter center in Long Beach that is the first by a Southern California regional company since the show hit Broadway in and passed through Riverside and Costa Mesa on tour. Trouble is, much of what comes before in the 2-hour, minute presentation, which plays through Sunday, lacks the magic of the movie headlined by Will Ferrell. Lest you fear for their knees: By the tap-dancing finale, the performers are on their feet. Dennis Castellano conducts a lively member band. Ever since he got that nasty letter from PETA. And why is the first half of Act 2 so padded? Kids are bound to get restless as the story detours to a Chinese restaurant filled with exhausted rent-a-Santas, then eavesdrops on the forlorn love interest. When: 7 p. Wednesday and Friday, 2 and 7 p.
New York stages, on Broadway and off, seem more clogged than ever with seasonal fare, and making an impression in this sentiment-drenched field is becoming increasingly difficult. In the remounted Broadway show, which opened Sunday at the Al Hirschfeld Theater, Jordan Gelber, one of several new cast members, draws the thankless job of trying to make fans of the movie forget Mr. He and the director, Casey Nicholaw, never quite find a comfort zone for the character the way that Mr. Ferrell did. The Ferrell Buddy is a lovable, convincing fish out of water when Santa sends him to New York to find his father.
And so Buddy, played by the aptly elfin-looking Sebastian Arcelus, heads off to grouch central, namely New York City, in search of his father. He also sings a lot of songs, leads a lot of dances, acquires a girlfriend Amy Spanger and decks all available halls with a belief in Santa Claus, knowledge of the True Meaning of Christmas and the general good spirits so glaringly absent from this review. The score is generic, true, but it is also polished, hummable-tune laden and professional. The director, Casey Nicholaw, coaxes fine work from the performers, who do their chores with unfailing commitment. Jacoby exudes frost and then melts convincingly. Gumley is an excellent singer and a fine, blessedly uncloying actor. Martin and Mr.