Civic Theatre Presents: “Elf the Musical”
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The Tarkington // Dec. 1 – Dec. 24
Based on the cherished 2003 New Line Cinema hit, “Elf” features songs by Tony Award nominees, Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin (“Disney’s Aladdin on Broadway,” “The Wedding Singer”), with a book by Tony Award winners, Thomas Meehan (“Annie,” “The Producers,” “Hairspray”) and Bob Martin (“The Drowsy Chaperone”).
Buddy, a young orphan, mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported to the North Pole. The would-be elf is raised unaware that he is actually a human until his enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth. With Santa’s permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father and discover his true identity. Faced with the harsh realities that his father is on the naughty list and his half-brother doesn’t even believe in Santa, Buddy is determined to win over his new family and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas.
Don’t miss out on this exhilarating holiday tradition. Get your tickets at thecenterpresents.org!
Elf’s been done a couple of times here at Civic now. We get to kind of put a little different spin on it, so it won’t be exactly the same show as before as it’s coming from a different lens and from a different director. Anne [Beck] and Brent [Marty] are still bringing all their expertise, so some things will look and sound familiar, but we’re switching things up. I try to come in with a fresh set of eyes, and we’ve got some folks that are new and some that are now in different roles. But they’re all really awesome people that I’m excited that I get to work with.
I hope the audience will laugh, have a good time, and leave with a little wonderment and a reminder of what it’s like to be a kid! I would say it’s important to remember the traditions [of the season] but to also create some new ones!
Brett Edwards — Buddy
This is a role that I’ve kind of had circled … whatever chance I got to do this role, I was going to take it. I partially feel excitement but also a responsibility to not just the cast and director but to this role. There’s a sense of responsibility I have to make sure that I put in all of my effort and to be prepared and ready. This is a movie that my family and I have watched every Thanksgiving, so to play the role [of Buddy] is a real exciting moment for myself and for my family as well!
It is my first show here at Civic — I’m one of the fresh newbie actors here, and I’m just getting the feel of not just the show but for Civic as well. I definitely feel this is probably the most physically demanding [role] from a vocal and choreography standpoint. The choreography level is elevated here, and to be able to rise to that has been an exciting challenge so far.
Nina Stilabower — Emily Hobbs
I was Deb in the 2021 version [of “Elf”], so having the chance to step into the shoes of Emily has been a cool challenge. Having done this show before, I’m very familiar with the content and flow of the show, and while it’s not the same choreography — it’s a bit different — the dialogue and music are always going to be the same. So, it’s kind of like slipping back into a shoe … it’s just comfortable, and I know what’s in store for us these next couple of months. I think getting to do something different and stretch my acting muscles a bit in a different way is really exciting. And I’m excited to bring that to “Elf” 3.0 in 2023!
It’s amazing to see the excitement that has built in just the first few weeks of rehearsals from the top down. Anne, Brent, John, Brett and the rest of the cast … we’re all in this together to put on a great show and have an awesome holiday season. We experience this sort of universal beauty together in one room, and every show is special. I think that’s the joy of being part of a holiday show here at Civic.
Jack Tanselle — Walter Hobbs
I get to play the role of the person who’s the last one to “get it.” We only get full circle when I finally get there, in my role. So, while my role isn’t nearly as active or energetic as the other roles, there’s something kind of fun about being that sort of capstone at the end. Where Walter finally comes around and figures it out.
I was in this shoe two years ago, and it was the first time I had gotten back on stage in 23 years. My daughter grew up here [Civic]. It was at the fundraising event earlier that summer that somebody randomly said that I should audition with her [Tanselle’s daughter] for “Elf.”
So, the last time I did it, there was something personal about it for me. This time around, I’m doing it because it’s a lot of fun, but there’s this other piece … for all that Civic has given to my family and especially my daughter, a place to learn how to show up and learn how to act, sing and dance, I feel compelled to give back to Civic in whatever small way I can. Civic’s leadership is just loaded with immense talent who cares deeply about the arts. If I can be a small piece playing a role in one of the shows as a way of contributing and giving back to Civic … that’s an easy ask, in my opinion.
Buddy – Brett Edwards
Jovie – Maggie Lengerich
Walter Hobbs – Jack Tanselle
Emily Hobbs – Nina Stilabower
Michael Hobbs – Jack McNally
Santa – Parrish Williams
Deb – Nicolette Mantica
Macy’s Manager – Jonathan Studdard
Mr. Greenway – Joe Beck
Chadwick – Jacob Smitherman
Matthews – Sydnie Blair
Sam– Luke Robinson
Tiara – Amelia Schoeff