Stuck in a sort of purgatory between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and with a mere seventeen days left until the latter, it’s a good thing that the national tour of Elf, The Broadway Musical, opened tonight at the Dallas Summer Musicals. Elf, based on the beloved 2003 movie by the same title, tells the story of Buddy, a human who was adopted by elves and raised in the North Pole who ventures into New York City to find his birth father. It is a classic Christmas tale, complete with a transformation (reminiscent of A Christmas Carol) of a stingy old workaholic to a man who believes in the goodness of Christmas.
The production, directed by Sam Scalamoni, is charming. Despite premiering on Broadway in 2010, Elf has many aspects of the old-school musicals: jazz hands, dramatic character actors, shiny costumes, and, best of all, big ensemble numbers choreographed by Connor Gallagher. Gallagher’s choreography is the highlight of the show, fusing the quaint, jazzy style of classic Broadway with highlights of more contemporary work. Daniel Patrick Smith is adorably goofy as Buddy, providing an engaging protagonist. Other standout performances include comedic geniuses Ken Clement (Santa) and Audra Qualley (Deb).This show is a must-see for anyone who is full of Christmas spirit and also for anyone who feels like they are missing some. Come to the Music Hall at Fair Park by December 20th to catch Elf!