Surflight Theatre will present “Elf The Musical” on Dec. 5, 6, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 15 and 16 at 2 p.m. and on Dec. 7, 8, 14 and 15 at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets are $39 for adults and $29 for children 12 years of age and younger. They may be purchased online at surflight.org, at the box office in Beach Haven, by phone at 609-492-9477 or at the door.
“Elf The Musical” is based on the 2003 movie that starred Will Ferrell. The film was a hit, bringing in over $220 million at the box office after spending “only” $33 million to make it.
The musical didn’t have a long Broadway run. That’s because it is a Christmas show, which means it only ran for a limited holiday engagement, 15 previews and 57 regular performances from Nov. 14, 2010 through Jan. 2, 2011. It was a hit with audiences in its short time on the Great White Way, setting box office records at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre three times.
“Elf The Musical” was revived on Broadway in the 2012-13 Christmas season and toured North America every year from 2012 through 2017 save 2015.
The show’s music was composed by Matthew Sklar while Chad Beguelin wrote the lyrics. If that sounds like a familiar combo you probably saw another Sklar/Beguelin musical produced at Surflight, “The Wedding Singer.” Meanwhile, the book was adapted from the movie by Bob Martin, best known for the book of “The Drowsy Chaperone,” and Thomas Meehan, who wrote the books for “Annie,” “The Producers” and “Hairspray” among others.
The book doesn’t stray far from the movie’s script, written by David Berenbuam, although there are a few minor changes. Its department store scenes, for example, take place at Macy’s instead of Gimbels considering that store closed in 1987. There are also updates designed to draw laughs from audiences, such as Santa keeping track of his list of good boys and girls on an iPhone instead of paper.
William “Buddy” Hobbs (Kole McKinley) mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported to the North Pole, where he is raised as an elf. But Buddy finally discovers he is not an elf but a human, with his large size and inability to make toys providing the clues.
So Buddy heads off to New York City in search of his father, Walter Hobbs (John E. Brady) and runs into problems. His biggest? Walter is on Santa’s naughty list and his son – and Buddy’s half-brother – Michael doesn’t even believe in Mr. Claus. But Buddy is determined to help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas.
The cast includes Marci Reid as Emily Hobbs, Jenny Stodd as Jovie, Adrianne Hick as Deb, Andrew Foote as Mr. Greenway, Andre’ Dion Wells as the store manager, Dale Given as Santa and local teen Michael Critelli as Michael.
There is also a large adult ensemble and a children’s ensemble made up of local kids who are students at Surflight’s education partner, Manahawkin’s Starlight Performing Arts.
The show, directed and choreographed by Paula Hammons Sloan, includes songs such as “Sparkejollytwinkleing” “I’ll Believe in You” and “A Christmas Song.”