If you have never seen the hit holiday movie, Elf, I have to question where you have been the past 10 years. This film, starring the quirky Will Farrell, became an instant holiday staple. A human raised by elves, returns to New York City to find his long lost family and spread Christmas cheer. Its fun, its positive, its family friendly. And to be honest, it plays in our home ALL YEAR LONG.
So imagine my excitement when I learned that a live stage production was being made. As an added bonus, it is currently playing at a high quality theater in our own back yard, the Marriott Theater in Lincolnshire.
The Marriott Theater is located within the beautiful confines of the Lincolnshire Marriott Resort. The theater was nothing like what I was expecting. It is not your typical set-up. Instead, the seating surrounds the stage from every angle, making every seat a good seat, and making it feel very intimate.
The heartwarming show opens with a very sassy Santa Claus, who through a few jokes, tells us the humble beginnings of Buddy the Elf. After a highly energetic number performed by the happy elves, we are introduced to the star of the show, Buddy the Elf. The role of Buddy was perfectly cast, full of life, innocence, a great singing voice and the actor, Alex Goodrich, is definitely a Will Farrell look a like. The show takes us through the rest of his adventures in New York City, from working at Gimbals, to meeting his father to changing everyone’s hearts.
The talent of the entire cast was phenomenal. besides the obvious role of Buddy, I was really impressed with the performances of two of the actors in their roles. The young boy who plays Micheal, Buddy’s newly found half-brother, had the musical talent of a highly experienced professional adult. Cam Ezell has a bright future. I also enjoyed the secretary of Walter Hobbs, who had a special energy that she added to the show. Played by the pretty as a Christmas Card, Susan Moniz.
The story-line of the musical varies slightly from the movie, but it works. What they keep is the basic plot, most of the characters (Buddy’s adoptive dad and the Peter Dinklage character are missing), and many of the best quotable lines (“Buddy the Elf, whats your favorite color?!”) The songs are fun, catchy and well performed. The stage set transitions were almost seamless. And I smiled and laughed throughout the entire performance.
Reservations: While Elf the film is appropriate for all ages, I would limit the ages of attendance to this show to older children due to the use of innuendos and a few swear words.
I cannot wait to go back and take the adult family when they are in town for the holidays. And I am eager to now explore the other quality offerings at the theater.
There are many performance times and dates through the holiday season. The show runs October 21-December 31. Get your tickets through Ticketmaster or by calling the Marriott Theater box office at: (847) 634-0200.
Disclosure: The writer received tickets tot he media preview in order to facilitate this review. All thoughts and opinions are their own and no further compensation was received.