by Lorie Lewis Ham
If you are looking for holiday fun that is perfect for the entire family, look no further than Good Company Player’s production of Elf the Musical at Roger Rocka’s!
Elf the Musical is based on the 2003 film Elf starring Will Ferrell. The musical premiered on Broadway in 2010. The show is about a young orphan named Buddy (Shawn Williams) who crawls into Santa’s bag on Christmas Eve and is taken back to the North Pole. There he is raised by the elves and believes that he is also an elf. One day he learns the truth and with Santa’s (Christopher Hoffman) encouragement, he goes to New York to find his real dad, Walter Hobbs (Greg Ruud). Walter is the head of a big company that publishes children’s books and is on Santa’s naughty list. He doesn’t have time for his family or Christmas. Buddy’s innocence gets him into some trouble, but also leads to his meeting Jovie (Dorie Sanders), who works at a local department store and who quickly steals his heart. Buddy’s main goal is to win over his father, but he also wants to teach his new brother Michael (Logan McLamore) to believe in Santa, and bring the spirit of Christmas back to New York.
This show is a lot of fun and a great way to get you into the Christmas spirit. Most of the best moments from the movie are also in the musical—such as the perfume scene. Buddy brings joy to the people around him, and those in the audience as well. His sweet innocence and joy are infectious. You will find yourself laughing and smiling all through the show.
Shawn Williams was born to play Buddy-he does a perfect job of bringing this sweet and energetic character to life. There are some fun dance numbers as well and Shawn is a very skilled dancer. The number with Buddy and all the fake Santas was especially fun!
Greg Ruud is perfect as the Scrooge like Walter who at first wants nothing to do with Buddy. Camille Gaston as Walter’s secretary Deb is hilarious! The Jr. Company kids play the other elves and are adorable and deliver some of the biggest laughs of the night-especially Charlie (Zachary Taylor) and Shawanda (Morgan Sanders)—you totally buy that they are just elf sized adults! Steve Souza is always fun to watch, this time he slips back and forth between the store manager and Chadwick, who works for Walter.
This show is not only a lot of fun, but it is filled with talented performers and you will leave feeling yourself uplifted and ready for the holidays!
Elf is on stage at Roger Rocka’s through January 12, 2020. Roger Rocka’s Dinner Theater is at 1226 N. Wishon at Olive Ave. Tickets can be purchased on their website or by calling the box office at (559) 266-9494.
If you love local theatre, be sure to check out Mysteryrat’s Maze Podcast, which features mysteries read by local actors. You can also find the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Play, and also on podbean. New episode went up this week!
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