CHEERS Star George Wendt to Return as 'Santa' in ELF THE MUSICAL at Madison Square Garden

CHEERS Star George Wendt to Return as 'Santa' in ELF THE MUSICAL at Madison Square Garden

The Madison Square Garden Company announced today that George Wendt, from the long-running television series Cheers, will star as Santa in Elf The Musical, which is returning to New York City this holiday season.

This limited engagement runs at the Theater at Madison Square Garden from December 13 through December 29, 2017. Tickets are on sale now.

Wendt is best known for his role in the successful television sitcom Cheers, where he played Norm Peterson throughout the eleven-year run of the series. He has appeared on television programs including Taxi, Soap, M*A*S*H, Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Becker, among many others. Additionally, Wendt has made numerous appearances on NBC's Saturday Night Live. Recently, Wendt has been seen on Broadway where he originated the role of Santa in the Broadway production of Elf The Musical and played the role of Edna Turnblad in Hairspray.

"ELF has become a holiday staple since the movie was RELEASED in 2003 and having been part of the original Broadway cast, I witnessed firsthand the joy this hilarious musical interpretation brought to fans," says George Wendt. "Having the opportunity to bring this 'real life' Santa to the stage once again is exciting and I can't wait to share the laughter with audiences of all ages."

ELF The Musical 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. Unaware that he is actually human, Buddy's 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, discover his true identity, and help New York remember their inner ELF.

"We are thrilled to welcome George back to the production as Santa," says Mark Kaufman, Executive Vice President, Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures. "He originated the role on Broadway and brought such fun and laughter to the role. We look forward to having him return to this beloved character once again."

Additional casting will be announced at a later date.

Based on the beloved 2003 New Line Cinema hit, Elf The Musical features songs by Tony Award nominees Matthew Sklar (The Wedding Singer) and Chad Beguelin (Disney's Aladdin, The Wedding Singer) with a book by Tony Award winners Thomas Meehan (Annie, The Producers, Hairspray) and Bob Martin (The Drowsy Chaperone). The production will feature direction by Sam Scalamoni and choreography by Connor Gallagher. Casting by Stewart/Whitley.

The Theater at Madison Square Garden has become a destination venue for spreading holiday cheer annually, and has presented some of the most sought after family productions including Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical, Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas: The Musical, A Christmas Story: The Musical; Cathy Rigby is Peter Pan; A Christmas Carol, The Musical; and Wintuk by Cirque du Soleil.

Performances of Elf The Musical begin December 13 and run through December 29 at the Theater at Madison Square Garden. Tickets are on sale now and start at $39. For more information about Elf The Musical at The Theater at Madison Square Garden, visit theateratmsg.com/elf or call 866-858-0008. Groups of nine or more, call 212-465-6080; discounts are available for groups of 20 or more. Tickets starting at $39.

BSL Enterprises is a producing and management partnership between longtime business partners Brett Sirota and Stephen Lindsay. BSL is the managing member of The Road Company theatrical booking agency, and has invested in and/or partnered with shows and companies such as Wicked, SpongeBob SquarePants, Sunday in the Park With George, War Paint, Dirty Dancing, If/Then, The Second City, and Next to Normal.

Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures develops and produces first-class musicals and stage productions from the company's expansive catalogue. WBThV is currently represented on Broadway with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and was previously represented on the West End by Olivier Award-winning musical Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and on Broadway by the stage adaptation of Stephen King's Misery starring Bruce Willis and Laurie Metcalf and Tony Award Best Play winner The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Other Broadway credits include the Tony Award-winning musical The Bridges of Madison County and the holiday hit Elf The Musical. The division is readying productions of 17 Again, Dave, Beetlejuice, Night Shift, A STAR is Born and Dog Day Afternoon for the stage. WBThV also licenses third-party stage rights including such productions as The Bodyguard, Singin' in the Rain, Hairspray, The Wizard of Oz, The Color Purple and 42nd Street.

Madison Square Garden Company (MSG) is a world leader in live sports and entertainment experiences. The company presents or hosts a broad array of premier events in its diverse collection of iconic venues: New York's Madison Square Garden, The Theater at Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall and Beacon Theatre; the Forum in Inglewood, CA; The Chicago Theatre; and the Wang Theatre in Boston. Other MSG properties include legendary sports franchises: the New York Knicks (NBA), the New York Rangers (NHL) and the New York Liberty (WNBA); two development league teams -- the Westchester Knicks (NBAGL) and the Hartford WOLF Pack (AHL); and one of the leading North American esports organizations, Counter Logic Gaming. In addition, the Company features the popular original production - the Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes - and through Boston Calling Events, produces outdoor festivals, including New England's preeminent Boston Calling Music Festival. Also under the MSG umbrella is TAO Group, a world-class hospitality group with globally-recognized entertainment dining and nightlife brands: Tao, Marquee, Lavo, Avenue, The Stanton Social, Beauty & Essex and Vandal. More information is available at www.themadisonsquaregardencompany.com.

Pictured: George Wendt as Santa in the Original Broadway Production of ELF The Musical. Photo by Joan Marcus.

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