Review Roundup: ELF
ELF returns to Broadway this holiday season at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre (302 West 45th Street). Performances began on Friday, November 9, 2012. The production plays a limited engagement of 9 weeks for the holiday season through Sunday, January 6, 2013. BroadwayWorld brings you a first look at the show's new video montage below!
ELF is the hilarious tale of Buddy, a young orphan child who mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported back to the North Pole. Buddy 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 reality that his father is on the naughty list and his step-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. This modern day Christmas classic is sure to make everyone embrace their inner ELF.
Let's see what the critics had to say...
Neil Genzlinger, New York Times: And yes, for those keeping track, that makes two holiday-in-a-Chinese-restaurant scenes currently on Broadway, because a block over and a block up from “Elf” a musical version of the Jean Shepherd gem “A Christmas Story” is playing. “A Christmas Story” also has a live dog (two, actually), just like “Annie,” another Broadway show with a Christmas theme. There’s a message in those duplications perhaps. Holiday cheer is swell, but theatrically, at least, maybe it’s starting to be spread a bit thin?
Elisabeth Vincentelli, NY Post: When it first appeared a couple of years ago, “Elf — The Musical” fit that pattern. The sluggish, saccharine-sweet adaptation of the 2003 Will Ferrell movie wasn’t bad enough to qualify as a lump of coal, but it didn’t make you wish for a return ticket in your stocking. But there’s been a Christmas miracle on Broadway, because the retooled “Elf” that reopened last night is a startling improvement. Zippier and funnier, the show is now a bona fide treat.
Michael Sommers, NJ Newsroom: New to the role of a disillusioned Macy’s employee who brightens up in Buddy’s presence, Leslie Kritzer delivers the funny “Never Fall in Love (With an Elf”) with wry pizzazz. Other high points in the musical include “Nobody Cares About Santa,” a jazzy, foot-stomping lament for Buddy and crew of disgruntled out of work department store Saint Nicks; “There is a Santa Claus,” a joyous realization of the holiday spirit exuberantly voiced by Leavel with youngster Mitchell Sink; and “The Story of Buddy the Elf,” a punchy number with a catchy chorus that, as performed by most of the company, nearly brings down the house. Rolling along agreeably for its earlier stretches, the musical really takes off in the second act.
Peter Santilli, Associated Press: Those expecting to laugh as much as they did at the movie won't be disappointed. What might come as a surprise is just how polished these songs and arrangements are, particularly the larger-than-life opening number at Santa's workshop and several scenes in a very strong second act.