According to the famous holiday movie, Elf, “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is by singing loud for all to hear.” The reimagining of Elf perfectly exemplifies that as Christmas comes a little early to Ohio University.
Elf the Musical is coming to OU on Thursday. Originally a 2003 movie starring Will Ferrell, the story follows young Buddy the Elf as he navigates his life after finding out that he is actually a human, not an elf.
The musical was created in 2010 with music by Matthew Sklar, lyrics by Chad Beguelin, and the script by Bob Martin and Thomas Meehan. Though the musical was based on the holiday classic, there are some differences from the film. For example, Santa Claus is now the narrator instead of Papa Elf, and Buddy never has to save his brother Michael from the school bullies with a snowball fight. However, the few changes made don’t significantly affect the storyline that audiences are familiar with.
The show is filled with music that has left audiences feeling happy and excited for Christmas time. The family-friendly show has many fun scenes and special effects to please children, while also sneaking in jokes to entertain the adults.
Senior Associate Director for Student Activities Andrew Holzaepfel arranged the special add-on during the production’s national holiday tour.
Holzaepfel’s co-worker had seen the musical and suggested the addition to him. For the past few years, the Campus Involvement Center has been trying to bring Elf the Musical as an add-on to the series and after the long schedule struggle, it worked out this year.
“I’m very excited for this show,” Holzaepfel said. “I love watching the movie, and I’m so interested to see how they translate the movie to the stage.”
Though the show is generating a lot of campus excitement, it’s not in the regular show season. There are about nine shows in the traditional performance series, and there was already a holiday performance lined up. However, the Performing Arts Series expands to about 45 shows per year including add-ons. The only real difference between the series and the add-ons is ticketing. Season ticket holders have to pay the regular price to see the performance because it’s not included in the season package.
“It’s going to be a super fun night,” Holzaepfel said. “It’s very high-quality and a lot of fun, and a great way for students to take a break from their studies.”
OU students are really excited to see the musical adaptation and to get into the spirit of Christmas a little early.
Bridget Coffey, a freshman studying global studies war and peace, is excited to see Elf the Musical because of her love for the movie.
“I grew up watching Elf at home, so seeing the production here is a nice way to get into the holiday spirit while also supporting a campus event,” Coffey said.
Kendra Robie, a sophomore majoring in communication sciences and disorders, thinks the musical was a good choice to bring to campus.
“It’s something very different, and it’s nothing similar to what’s been here before,” Robie said. “Of course I love the movie, so it’ll be cool to see it on campus in real life.”