The sets were simple with just enough detail to transform the stage to the North Pole, Macys department store, N.Y. office or a N.Y. home and Central Park. Seth Fallon as ELF, did a good job showing child-like wonder in an over-sized adult body and he was able to work through the mic issues which popped up throughout the show.
The director Stephen Napp captured the sense of the play with spartan sets and lighting and good stage direction for the actors, while the choreography by Jason M. Kimmell competes with Broadway musicals. The costumes were perfect, designed by Tara Hebert and Patricia Anderson. Buddy’s ELF costume screamed gaudy just like the film and all the elves had very cute worker uniforms like you might see at the North Pole in Santa’s workshop and the N.Y. city scenes had high end designer suits and others with just the right flair to present a busy N.Y. street at rush hour or an office.
They all sang and we all cheered and left the venue with a renewed Christmas cheer.
The story follows the film’s and Jennie Phelps does a tremendous job as Jovie with an attitude and look that creates a fully developed character. As in the film, her voice is beautiful and effervescent. She commands the stage with her presence and voice while complimenting Buddy’s character. Susan Schindler playing Emily Hobbs and E. Lee Nichol as Walter Hobbs makes a wonderful singing duo, and all of Susan’s singing scenes are pitch-perfect as well.
Like the film, there are jokes throughout by the elves, the Macy’s workers, Hobb’s business workers and Santa. Patricia Anderson did a spectacular job singing and dancing in her routines. The chorus group songs and dances were well done as well, well-choreographed and timed. The story starts out slow but picks up just in time and it all comes together in the final touching sequence and song and dance line proving that you can’t ruin Christmas as Buddy thought and also that the best way to spread Christmas cheer is to sing out loud for all to hear. They all sang and we all cheered and left the venue with a renewed Christmas cheer.
Running Time: Two hours and 30 minutes with an intermission.
“ELF, the Musical” plays through December 1, 2019, at Mercy High School Theater 1300 East Northern Parkway Baltimore, MD 21239. For tickets, call the box office at 410-472-4737 or purchase them online.