Visit the North Pole and New York City at the Arvada Center, as Elf The Musical takes to the main stage. Elf is the story of the boy called Buddy who is raised by Santa and believes he is an elf, until he overhears the other elves talking about him. When Santa tells him the truth—that he’s a human and his real father lives and works in New York City—Buddy makes the trek to meet his dad.
Busy, serious New Yorkers are not quite sure what to make of Buddy and his elfy-ness, nor does Jovie, the girl Buddy likes who works as a less-than-jolly elf at Macy’s department store. Buddy’s dad and new family are lacking in Christmas spirit, too. In the end, Buddy’s ever-present holiday cheer brings people together and helps them believe in the magic of Christmas again.
Josh Houghton makes his Arvada Center debut as Buddy the Elf, standing head and shoulders taller than most everyone on stage. Children and adults will laugh at his clumsiness as well as his extreme enthusiastic reactions to just about everything.
Houghton makes the role his own, adding more physical comedy to the character played by Will Ferrell in the 2003 movie, Elf. You’ll recognize a few famous lines from the movie, but create new memories after seeing Houghton’s version of the Christmas Gram song that Buddy sings at his dad’s office, as well as musical numbers including “Happy All the Time” and “A Christmas Song.”
Situations in the story are different, too. In this version, it’s Buddy’s fascination with the office paper shredder that ruins Walter Hobbs’ job right before Christmas. The Chinese restaurant scene filled with fake Santas offers a different and humorous perspective. Santa even adds a couple of Colorado references at the beginning.
For parents bringing children, be aware that there are a few references to adult subject matter (that my nine-year-old easily picked up on). There’s a little bit of colorful language that I wished wasn’t there, as I don’t feel it enhanced the fun, family-friendly story. The show is rated PG and is not recommended for children under age six, due to the length of the performance. The first act runs one hour and 20 minutes, followed by a 20-minute intermission and second act.
A sensory-friendly performance for audience members with special needs will be held December 16, 6:30 p.m.
Need To Know: Elf the Musical plays at the Arvada Center November 20-December 23, 2018. Tickets start at $53 and can be purchased on the Arvada Center website.