SONORA —A title known the world over, “Elf The Musical” is a sweet-toothed musical comedy that will easily become the most memorable night out with your family this holiday season.
Based on the 2003 film starring Will Farrell and Zoey Deschanel, Elf features songs by Tony Award nominees Matthew Sklar (The Wedding Singer) and Chad Beguelin (Disney’s Aladdin on Broadway), with a book by Tony Award winners, Thomas Meehan (Annie, The Producers, Hairspray) and Bob Martin (The Drowsy Chaperone).
“Elf” previews at the East Sonora Theatre at 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 3 and 4, and 2 p.m. on Nov. 5. The show opens Nov. 5 at 7 p.m. and will be followed by an Opening Night Celebration.
Regular performance times are Wednesdays at noon, Thursdays at 2 p.m., Fridays at 7 p.m., Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. through Dec. 18.
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.
Elf director and choreographer Jim Christian, offers his take on why this holiday fantasy musical is sure to make everyone embrace their inner elf: “As we move through life, we encounter innumerable challenges. Some harsh, some costly, all enlightening ... and along the way, we lose some of the childlike wonder and magic that surrounded us in our early years. Being able to recapture some of those feelings and memories is vital for us.
“They buoy us up and remind us that dreams, imagination, and the ability to hope are the driving forces that have moved us forward since the beginning of time. Fantasy not only allows us to escape from reality, it prepares us to return to life renewed and reinvigorated as we recognize that what was once impossible is now achievable ... and that gives us the ability to do more than we ever thought we could.”
The production is directed and choreographed by Jim Christian, with music directed by Sean Paxton. Scenic design by Whitney Lehn Meltz, costume design by Martha Clarke, lighting design by Catherine M. Pratt, sound design by Tatiana Covington-Parra, hair and make-up design by Brenda O’Brien, digital illustrations by Irene Nguyen, projection design by Steve Channon, and props by Alicia Dooley.
“We’ve all been dealing with some bummer holiday seasons for the past few years,” says Associate Artistic Director, Jerry Lee, who also plays Buddy in this production. “We’ve been planning our Christmas season since mid-summer. We want people to walk in and get doused with Christmas spirit right from the get-go. There’s this need to celebrate, you can feel it in the air and that’s what we’re set to do this year with both our Christmas shows.”
SRT will also be producing The Christmas Foundling at the Fallon House, opening Nov, 19 (adapted for SRT by Norman Allen, inspired by the stories of Bret Harte).
The Elf cast includes Lee, Camryn Elias, Brenda O’Brien, Matt K. Miller, Kevin Heath, Jackie Thompson, Marcus J. Paige, Sarah Schori, Cheyenne Omani, Charlie Vershay, Sarah Villacarillo, Sergio Salinas, Robert Frederick Taylor, Mateo DeAngelo, Christopher Michael, Andreas Pantazis, Ruby E. James, Dexter Narron, and Austin Paris.
“This is one of those big splashy musicals,” says producer Scott Viets. “We’ve brought in the very best to get the job done right. We need Buddy’s relentless optimism and the joy that it brings. It’s a cure-all.”
After all, the best way to spread Christmas Cheer is singing loud for all to hear.
For more information about Sierra Repertory Theatre, visit www.SierraRep.org or call the Box Office at (209) 532-3120. Follow Sierra Repertory Theatre on Instagram at @SierraRep; and on Facebook at Facebook.com/SierraRep.
SRT operates out of two theaters located in East Sonora and in Historic Columbia State Park in Northern California. The East Sonora Theatre is at 13891 Mono Way, Sonora. The Historic Fallon House Theatre is at 11175 Washington St., in Columbia, California. Both theaters are air-conditioned and ADA accessible.