When you don't celebrate Christmas, you can start to feel a bit isolated this time of year. The whole town is fast becoming sparkly and adorned, and holiday shows are popping up all over Broadway. Right now there are four big Christmas shows if you count Broadway, Madison Square Garden and Radio City, and that's just the big ticket events. Even my kids' TV shows are starting to get jolly and jingle-belly. The other day my four year old asked that right-of-passage question for all Jewish boys of a certain age: "Mommy, why don't we have a Christmas Tree?"
So with a happily thrown-in towel, I arranged for a few family visits to the most exciting holiday-themed shows in town. First on our list was ELF
, the return of a seasonal Broadway musical based on one of my favorite films. This one is best for kids over five so I left my little guy to ponder religion at home while my nine-year-old and I headed down to the Al Hirschfeld
Theatre with an open mind.
Not only is the show hysterically funny and perfect for kids and adults to share, it's got more Jewish actors in it than the last production of Fiddler on the Roof. Which, admittedly, is not saying much. But the urban, New York edginess in this production contrasted against the hopeful and innocent whimsy of an elf named Buddy provide an atmosphere for real humor and some surprisingly earnest performances.
One of those fabulous performers is my good friend and star of Elf, Jordan Gelber
, who is doing a great job balancing his Broadway schedule with fatherhood.
Scroll down to check out a clip of Jordan practicing his choreography at home with his two-year-old son:
Given the theme and short run, a lot of actors might have been tempted to turn in silly, surface performances. Not here. It's so impressive and appreciated to see Broadway veterans with real chops attacking the material, breaking down characters and taking authentic emotional journeys. The laughs are real and earned.
We won't be getting a Christmas Tree this year or any year, but maybe my little guy will enjoy watching ELF the film as we watch the candles drip wax over the menorah this year.
GET TO THE POINT, MOM!
• An authentically funny musical for the holidays.
• Great for kids 5 and up AND their parents.
• For more info or to purchase tickets, visit the show's WEBSITE
• DON'T MISS THE VIDEO OF JORDAN AND HIS SON:
Click Here to Play!