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27Feb

ELF the Musical @ Rancocas Valley Regional High School

"It's the story of Buddy the Elf!" Rancocas Valley Regional High School's production of Elf the Musical fills their auditorium with Christmas cheer just in time for the holiday season.

Based on the 2003 movie of the same name, Elf debuted on Broadway in 2010. With the book adapted by Bob Martin and Thomas Meehan, the musical features a score by Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin. Elf follows Buddy on his journey from the North Pole to New York City, in order to find his father after finding out that he's human. This musical is a light-hearted comedy at its core, but it also comments on the importance of family.

The cast and crew collaborated to create a hilarious and moving performance that filled the theater with laughter and emotion. The creativity in technical detail and the consistency of the actors formed a balance that allowed each and every part of the show to shine in its own way.

Aidan Holmes, playing Buddy, captivated audience members with his comedic timing and the natural, realistic feel he gave to a role that is meant to be saturated with silliness. In songs meant to convey anger or sadness, such as "World's Greatest Dad (Reprise)", Holmes stayed true to his characterization of Buddy. Even when his mic suffered technical difficulties, he managed to maintain strong vocals while dancing and acting with energy, and his passion seemed to bounce off the rest of the cast as well, almost infecting his fellow actors with his enthusiasm. Elizabeth Ford, playing Jovie, also stunned the audience with her impressive vocals.

The supporting characters and ensemble matched the energy of the show very well, making their performances memorable. In "Nobody Cares About Santa", the fake Santas recaptured the attention of the audience and set the tone for the rest of the second act. James Humphreys believably portrayed the short temper of Walter Hobbs, while still giving layers to his character. Lyndsey Finsen charmed the audience with her witty portrayal of Deb, and she further shocked the entire theater with her tap dancing at the end of the show. Kevin Turkheimer gave a hilarious performance as modern Santa, eliciting laughter from the audience whenever he was on stage.

An impressive amount of creativity shows through the technical aspects of this production. The innovation of the elves in "Christmastown" set a precedent for the sets for the rest of the show, and they did not disappoint. The large iceberg that Buddy travels on smoothly rolled across the stage, shocking the audience when pieces were removed from the iceberg to show its shrinking and melting. Other set pieces contributed to making the show look more realistic, such as the detailed bookshelf in the Hobbs' residence and the office building elevator. Creatively utilized props added to the efficiency and creativity of many objects on stage. The costuming of this show achieved the aspect of realism with Walter's suit and the office workers' business attire. However, the costumes also stayed true to the fun and whimsical aspects of the show with Santa's tracksuit, Santa's sequined suit, and Buddy's classic elf costume.

This production holds true to Buddy's famous principle: "The best way to spread Christmas cheer is by singing loud for all to hear!"

About the Author

Flood-Orion, Jeffrey

Flood-Orion, Jeffrey

Program Director - FY20 Season

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