Holly Jolly !! Elf: The Musical is a charming holiday story about a little elf who might. Buddy grows up in Santa’s workshop in the North Pole, thinking all the time he’s an elf. Santa Claus must finally break the news. Buddy is actually a human who slipped into Santa’s gift bag when he was a baby and tucked into the sleigh on Christmas Eve. With hope in his heart, Buddy sets out to find his human family in New York City and restores the Christmas spirit for his father, brother and stepmother. Based on the family’s favorite movie starring Will Ferrell, Elf: The Musical is written by Bob Martin and Thomas Meehan, with music and lyrics by Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin. The Poteet Theater inside St. Luke’s United Methodist Church presents this charming family-friendly musical on their cozy main stage in downtown Oklahoma City.
Cleverly directed by Collin Andrulonis, this ensemble cast gives it their all, performing thoroughly and making the most of this sweet Christmas tale. Justin Larman is excellent as a Buddy. He is full of Christmas cheer, energetic and happy, but also desperate at times. Larman is always a strong performer and always gives his maximum in each role. Sierra Sikes Posada is sweet and warm as Jovie, a Macy’s employee who immediately grabs Buddy’s attention and heart. Todd Walters is stern as Buddy’s father, Walter Hobbs. Paige Cain is underrated as Buddy’s future mother-in-law, Emily Hobbs. Carl Crane, Jr. is delicious as Santa Claus. William Ohl is mean enough as Mr. Greenway, the publisher and CEO of Mr. Hobbs’ company. Outstanding performances and solos are given by Madison K. Eckerson as Deb and Terjuana Brooks as manager. Both are excellent singers and performers and bring the house down with their dynamite vocals.
Supermarkets are a good mix of professional, community, and child performers, and they all work well together to create great musical numbers. Kassie Carroll Downey’s choreography uses the entire stage and demands a lot of energy from the musicians. This casting is well rehearsed and perfected. They get through those complex routines and make the job easy. A particularly difficult and interesting scene occurs when Jovie and Buddy are ice skating. The cast uses roller skates and inline skates, and the effect is seamless! The stage turntable is also used beautifully, and it’s always exciting to see a moving setting on stage. Johnathan Jarmon’s clever set design proves that great musicals can be done, and done well, in small spaces.
The Elf Ensemble is made up of Claire Boswell, Kaylie Fitzpatrick, Jaclynn Hull, Kayelynn Osborn and Stella Ranking. The Office set includes Rusty Steel, Dena Phillips, Lance Overdorff, Kirk Coyer, and Julia Donaldson. The Macy’s & NYC set includes Mischa Gray, Dena Phillips, Rusty Steel, Peyton Ward, James Clark, William Ohl, Gretchen Grace Beatty, Claire Boswell, Kirk Coyer, Julia Donaldson, Madison K. Eckerson, Kaylie Fitzpatrick, Jaclynn Hull, Kayelynne Osborn, Stella Rankin and Hudson Steel. False Santa Claus are played by James Clark, Lance Overdorff, Rusty Steel, Peyton Ward, Dena Phillips and Julia Donaldson.
Fans of the classic film will recognize their favorite scenes, and the added musical numbers are a treat for the whole family. Elf: The Musical is everything a Christmas musical should be. It touches your heart, brings some Christmas magic and makes you feel good. You might even shed a tear in your most sentimental moments. Elf: The Musical is a great time for kids and adults alike, and it’s impossible to watch without a smile all the way through! Like Buddy, the smile will indeed be your favorite, and you will love Christmas a little more.
For more information and tickets for the Poteet Theater’s upcoming spring season, visit stlukesokc.org.