The beloved Christmas film about a future elf who reunites with his real family hits the stage just in time for the holiday season.
Elf the Musical, based on the lead role by Will Ferrell and the film directed by Jon Favreau, plays at the Storybook Theater from November 25 through December 30.
“It’s really daunting to get into it and try to make it your own while being honorable for the movie,” said Cameron Chapman, who will play Ferrell’s Buddy the Elf in the film.
“It looks like Will Ferrell had a blast while filming the movie, and I get why that’s such a fun role to play,” Chapman said.
Chapman said the family production’s holiday themes would resonate with all types of audiences.
“I think anyone, whether you celebrate Christmas or not, can connect with the character of Buddy and connect with the themes of family – and even found family – which is very important in society. ‘today,’ he said.
“Plus there’s upbeat music to listen to and hum along as you leave the theater which is really nice.”
Chapman will be joined by David Hosu as Michael, Buddy’s younger half-brother, Jillian Bauer as Jovie, Buddy’s love interest, and Brent Middelton as Walter Hobbs, Buddy’s father.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better cast with this show. It’s so much fun, everyone is so supportive and so funny – everyone’s comedic timing is fantastic,” Chapman said.
The family production is the StoryBook Theater’s 338th and marks the fourth time for veteran actor and director Mark Bellamy.
The production’s music includes songs written by Tony Award nominees Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin.
Tickets are on sale now for the production and are available at www.storybooktheatre.org.
Something familiar and yet different for the audience
Bellamy said Elf the Musical would be a production that resembles the film and the Broadway production, but different, suitable for a StoryBook Theater production.
“We’re not trying to recreate Broadway, we’re trying to create our version of this musical with the talent, the incredible talent that we have here at the StoryBook Theater, and the design of the space that we have that is very different from a theater on Broadway,” he said.
“We create different kinds of magic.”
He said the version coming to the stage in Calgary would be the one that would bring joy.
“Who doesn’t want that at this time of our lives, right?” Bellamy burst out laughing.
“It’s really accessible to everyone. There’s a bit of humor that felt a little more adult-oriented at times, and a bit of humor that’s there for the kids, but it’s really just a great holiday story that anyone can identify themselves.
He said themes that resonate throughout the musical production would be ones that audiences connect with, especially audiences looking for something family-centric.
“You know, most Christmas stories have a lot of similar themes running through them are similar tropes,” Bellamy said.
“There’s definitely a character in Elf who’s a bit of a Scroogie, he’s a bit of a Christmas denier…and how he comes to find what Christmas actually means to him, you have that sort of similar theme you have seen in A Christmas Carol.
“Buddy kind of embodies that eternal, childlike wonder that we can all experience at Christmas. family centered story.
Tickets are selling out fast
Tickets for the production are selling out quickly, with over 85% of the series already sold.
Bellamy said he was thrilled the production could play to packed houses in November and December.
“That’s what you want, because the more people you can tell the story to, the better the story,” he said.
“We want we want to play in front of a sold-out audience every night. It gives us so much energy and joy.
He said it also reflected the community’s interest in what StoryBook Theater does as a business, with the selection of shows they put on.
“It’s great that people are excited to come out and embrace live performance again, after the last two years of not being able to access things like this,” Bellamy said.
“One of the exciting things about coming to StoryBook is always the fact that you’re working with young and up-and-coming artists…they come with a tremendous amount of love, respect and enthusiasm for what we’re creating.
“It really is a labor of love, and that, especially when you do a show like this, brings so much to the table in terms of what we can access. That’s good.”