The beloved Christmas film about a would-be Elf finding his real family is coming to the stage just in time for the holiday season.
Elf the Musical, based off the Will Ferrell lead and Jon Favreau directed film, is playing at Storybook Theatre from Nov. 25 to Dec. 30.
“It’s definitely intimidating going into it, and trying to make it your own while also being honorable to the movie,” said Cameron Chapman, who will be playing Buddy the Elf—the role played by Ferrell on film.
“It looks like Will Ferrell had a blast while filming the movie, and I can see why it’s such a fun role to play,” Chapman said.
Chapman said that the holiday themes in the family-friendly production would resonate with all types of audiences.
“I think anyone, regardless if you celebrate Christmas or not, can connect with the character of Buddy, and connect with the themes of family—and even found family—which is very important in society today,” he said.
“As well there’s catchy music to listen to and hum along to as you leave the theatre, which is really nice.”
Chapman will be joined by David Hosu as Michael, Buddy’s younger-half brother, Jillian Bauer as Jovie, Buddy’s love interest, and Brent Middelton as Walter Hobbs, Buddy’s father.
“I could not have wished for a better cast with this show. It’s so fun, everyone is so supportive and so funny—everyone’s comedic timing is fantastic,” said Chapman.
The family-friendly production is StoryBook Theatre’s 338th, and marks the fourth time for veteran stage actor and director Mark Bellamy.
Music for the production features songs written by Tony Award nominees Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin.
Tickets are on sale now for the production and are available at www.storybooktheatre.org.
Something familiar and yet different for audiences to enjoy
Bellamy said that Elf the Musical would be a production that is like the movie and the Broadway production, but different befitting a production from StoryBook Theatre.
“We’re not trying to recreate Broadway, we’re trying to create our version of this musical with the talent, the amazing talent that we have here at StoryBook Theatre, and the design in the space that we have which is very different from a Broadway theatre,” he said.
“We create different kinds of magic.”
He said that the version coming to stage in Calgary would be one that would be about bringing joy.
“Who doesn’t want that in this time of our lives right?” Bellamy laughed.
“It really accessible for everybody. There is some some humor that seemed a little more aimed at the adults in certain points, and some humour that’s there for the kids, but it’s really just a great holiday story that everybody can relate to.”
He said that the themes that resonate throughout the musical production would be ones that audiences would connect to, especially audiences looking for something centred around family.
“You know, most Christmas stories have a lot of similar themes that run through them are similar tropes,” Bellamy said.
“There’s definitely a character in elf who’s a bit Scroogie, he’s a bit of a Christmas denier… and how he comes to find what Christmas actually means to him, you’ve got that kind of a similar theme that you’ve seen in A Christmas Carol.
“Buddy sort of embodies that eternal, child-like wonder that we all can experience at Christmas. The love of Christmas and the unbridled joy that holidays can bring to it—especially the holidays that are centred around family, and this is very much a story that centers around family.”
Tickets selling fast
Tickets for the production are selling out fast, with more than 85 per cent of the show’s run already sold out.
Bellamy said that he was excited that the production would get to play in front of full houses throughout November and December.
“That’s what you want, because the more people you can tell the story to, the better the story becomes,” he said.
“We want to we want to perform to sold out audiences every night. That just gives us so much energy and joy.”
He said it also reflected on the community being interested in what StoryBook Theatre is doing as a company, with the selection of shows they are putting on.
“It’s great that people are excited to come out and embrace live performance again, after the last two years we’ve had when we weren’t able to access things like this as much,” Bellamy said.
“One of the exciting things about coming to StoryBook is always the fact that you’re working with young and emerging performers… they’re coming in with a tremendous amount of love and respect and enthusiasm for what we’re creating.
“This is really a labour of love, and that, especially when you’re doing a show like this, brings so much to the table in terms of what we’re able to access. It’s great.”