Friday, December 8, 2017

Review of Elf The Musical at Paramount Theatre

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called Elf The Musical. The book was by Thomas Meehan and Bob Martin and the music was by Matthew Sklar and the lyrics were by Chad Beguelin. It was based on the film written by David Berenbaum. It was directed and choreographed by Amber Mak. The musical director was Tom Vendafreddo. It was about an elf named Buddy (Kyle Adams) who found out he wasn't really an elf and left the North Pole to go find his father, Walter Hobbs (Michael Accardo), in New York. He finds out that his dad is a big time businessman with a wife, Emily (Lara Filip), and son, Michael (Oliver Boomer), and not at all like him. He meets a woman, Jovie (Samantha Pauly), at his job working at Macy's and tries to get her into the Christmas spirit. I thought this was a super fun show. It has a very talented cast, great music, and some great visual aspects.

I loved the relationship between Buddy and Jovie. It was great how you got to see Jovie become more of a happy person. "A Christmas Song" is the perfect representation of how their relationship is. He convinces her to do something she's never done before, and she eventually complies. But...before that she's cranky. It is nice to have a play where it is not a girl trying to change a grouchy guy, but a guy trying to change a cranky girl. I really liked how it wasn't about a woman having to do all the work so a guy can be a better person. I thought this was a really great Buddy; he was so perfect at making everyone in the theater feel really happy and in the Christmas spirit and he made his scenes so hilarious. Jovie was also really amazing and was perfectly sarcastic and right for the role. I loved her solo, "Never Fall in Love." It was really funny because she was saying, "Never fall in love...especially with an elf," which is a very specific instruction which only applies to the very few people who meet elves. And it was just a really funny song sung really well. Both Jovie and Buddy had amazing voices.

"There is a Santa Claus" was a song sung by Emily and Michael about how they realized that Buddy had been right all along about Santa Claus (Roger Mueller) being real. I thought their performances were really great. You could really see the connection between those two characters. It was adorable to see them bonding and see a scene with just them in it. The harmony at the end of the song was amazing; their voices worked perfectly together. And I really believed their relationship. I really liked how the actor who played Michael just played the part with the skill of an adult actor and avoided making it cutesy. He knew how his voice worked and he had good control over it. I was impressed. I loved how the actor playing Emily seemed like an actual mother and not a mother in a musical.

The finale was really stunning. I love tap and I thought the tap number in this was really great. I loved how they got basically the entire cast tapping. It was so much fun to watch everyone dancing together and having fun on stage. There is a really cool special effect involving Santa that was really fun. They had a kid chorus (Grier Burke, Sophie Kaegi, Harmonie Kalous, Tova Love Kaplan, Spencer Moss, Theo Moss) that got tap solos and I thought that was really adorable.

People who would like this show are people who like finding out Santa is real, awesome tap numbers, and romantic relationships with elves. I think people should go see this show. It is so much fun and really gets you in the holiday spirit. I really liked it!

Photos: Liz Lauren

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