Broadway in Chicago presents ELF THE MUSICAL.
If you loved Will Ferrell in the movie ELF, you will like this musical version of the film. Will Blum (Buddy) mimics Ferrell’s iconic role. The story is about a human raised at the North Pole that returns to New York in his quest to find his dad. The movie boasts the personality greats of Ferrell, Bob Newhart, and James Caan. And even with additional star-studded supporting cast, the movie really came down to Ferrell. The lanky comedian owned those green tights. Although Blum delivers spritely spirit in song and dance, he can’t quite match Ferrell’s dazzling performance.
With book by Thomas Meehan and Bob Martin, ELF THE MUSICAL has the witty dialogue first introduced by screenwriter David Berrenbaum. The jokes about elfin customs contrast hilariously with New Yorker cynicism. The syrup soaked pasta is familiar. The rocking around the Christmas workshop is new. Choreographer Connor Gallagher has the energetic cast bring the colorful merriment. The elves are especially impressive dancing on their knees. The visual is candy coated cute.
This show has strong principals. I was especially enchanted by duets performed by Julia Louise Hosack (Emily) and Noah Marlowe (Michael). The mom-son duo harmonize beautifully in “I’ll believe in you” in the first act and come back in the second half for a confident encore with “There is a Santa Claus.” Their heart-warming bond with each other and the cuddly Blum captivates.
ELF THE MUSICAL is a fun way to get in the holiday mood. The elfin magic still charms even sans Ferrell.
Running Time: Two hours and thirty minutes includes an intermission
At Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph
Based on the New Line Cinema film written by David Berrenbaum
Book by Thomas Meehan and Bob Martin
Lyrics by Chad Beguelin
Music by Matthew Sklar
Directed by Sam Scalamoni
Music direction by Nate Patten
Thru December 15th
Buy Tickets at www.broadwayinchicago.com