The Arts Club Theatre Company gets the holiday season off to a rollicking start with Elf: The Musical, playing at the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage until December 31st.
Adapted from the 2003 film Elf, with a book by Thomas Meehan and Bob Martin, and score by Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin, the musical follows Buddy, who after being raised by the elves at the North Pole, discovers that he’s a human. Setting off for New York to find his real family, along the way Buddy discovers himself, learns about love and find the spirit of Christmas.
The man in the big red suit (Tom Pickett) starts off the story, before the ensemble of elves set the tone for the show with a with riotous workshop production number – Christmastown – and introduce Buddy. Star Andrew McNee is born to play the character of Buddy The Elf, his charisma, heart and physical comedy make it hard to take your eyes off him. Happily, the entire cast of Elf: The Musical are brilliant, matching McNee’s skills to create a hilarious, wholesome, and heartfelt production.
Packed with a powerhouse who’s who from the Vancouver theatre community, Andrew Wheeler plays Buddy’s father Walter Hobbs with Sharon Crandall and Ricky Wang as his wife. Emily and son, Michael who all find their way back to each other and reignite their spirit of Christmas. Eva Tavares as Jovie helps Buddy discover what’s in his heart as he helps her be less cranky.
At Walter’s office, the Scott Bellis chews the scenery as boss Mr Greenway and Meghan Anderssen stands out as the gleeful, and possibly sauced, Deb the Executive Assistant. The entire ensemble and the Children’s Chorus are gems too, bringing so much to the minor characters and filling scenes with life.
Elf: The Musical is a perfect way to transition out of dreary autumn and get the Holiday season underway with non-stop entertainment to make you laugh, cry and ignite your own Christmas spirit!
Elf: The Musical plays at The Arts Club Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage, 2750 Granville Street, Vancouver until December 31, 2023. Find show details and tickets at artsclub.com