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‘Elf: The Musical’ spreads the holiday spirit

"Elf: The Musical" is playing at the Theater at Madison Square Garden. Credit: Joan Marcus

If you’re looking to get into the holiday spirit and add some magic to your life, go see “Elf: The Musical” at the Theater at Madison Square Garden. It is based on the hilarious and heartwarming movie “Elf,” which came out in 2003. It allows a whole new generation to enjoy the sweet and lovable elf Buddy.

Orphaned baby Buddy ends up in Santa’s sack on Christmas night and is brought back to the North Pole. What is a human to do there? Well, become an elf, of course! Buddy is raised by Papa Elf and all the other elves in the North Pole, but he always feels different, and looks different, too. Let’s just say he is about four feet taller than the real elves. Also, he isn’t really that great at making toys. This is when the real adventure begins for Buddy.

Santa, played by George Wendt, and Buddy (Erik Gratton) are as tight as ever. So, with Santa’s permission, Buddy heads to the Big Apple to find his birth father, Walter Hobbs. Once he arrives, he can’t help but spread holiday cheer everywhere he goes. Except everyone thinks he’s sort of crazy, and not in a good way. They stare and laugh and avoid him at all costs. This doesn’t stop Buddy from trying to make his father love him or from finding a girlfriend. It takes time for Walter Hobbs (Christopher Russo) to warm up, but eventually it happens. When Buddy meets Jovi (Veronica J. Kuehn), it is love at first sight. You can’t believe how their love and relationship unfold. Buddy even gets the meanest of people, like Mr. Greenway (Danny Rutigliano), Walter Hobbs’ boss, to be filled with Christmas joy.

As we watched “Elf: The Musical,” we loved how the lines were sung to different tunes. It kept our attention throughout the story. The actors and ensemble belted out the tunes with such force. It made us want to sing along. There were so many little jokes to laugh at, so listen carefully.

The dancing is spectacular, too. We loved it when the whole ensemble was on stage dancing. Buddy’s silly dance moves will definitely give you a chuckle as well. Wait until you see all the wonderful backdrops. They looked 3-D and they made us feel as if we were really in all of the places: the North Pole, the Empire State Building, Mr. Hobbs’ apartment and office, and the last scene, Central Park.

“Elf: The Musical” will fill you with even more holiday spirit, while driving home the point that you must always be true to yourself. In the end, it is all about the simple pleasures in life: family and friends. This is what Christmas is all about. This musical is perfect for all ages. We give it 5 smiles. It is playing through Dec. 29. Go get tickets now! For information, visit

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