Interview: Emily Woods of ELF THE MUSICAL at Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre

Join the cast of Elf the Musical for a joyous holiday performance

By: Nov. 07, 2020
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Interview: Emily Woods of ELF THE MUSICAL at Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre

The holidays are filled to the brim with traditions. One tradition that many families enjoy is watching their favorite holiday stories come to live both on television and on the stage. Since its debut on the screen in 2003, the story of Buddy the Elf has captured the hearts and minds of adults and children alike. Bob Martin and Thomas Meehan adapted Elf for the stage and, with a score by Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin, Elf the Musical was born. Elf the Musical first appeared on Broadway during the Christmas season in 2010. While many theatres are dark right now, others have found ways to safely present performances both virtually and live. Buddy the Elf has "traveled through the seven levels of the candy cane forest" to Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre to spread Christmas cheer. You can catch Elf the Musical November 12-January 10. Actress Emily Woods takes on the role of Jovie, Buddy's co-worker and love interest.

BWW: Tell us a little about yourself.

Woods: I started performing in middle school, and I loved it from the beginning. I did all the shows in school. Originally, I was going to double major in theatre and speech pathology in college. And then thought, why would I do that; I knew I really didn't want to do anything else other than perform. I went to SUNY Cortland. I actually booked Ring of Fire at Dutch Apple during my senior year in college, so I left to do the show and then went back to finish up my degree. I've worked in Annapolis and did some theme park work, but I've really found my home with Prather Productions and Dutch Apple.

BWW: Audiences have had the pleasure of seeing you in several Dutch Apple shows over the last couple years. What is your favorite show or role and why?

Woods: I think Ring of Fire was probably my favorite Interview: Emily Woods of ELF THE MUSICAL at Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre because it was a different kind of show-it has a different kind of energy because you're the actor and the band. My other favorite was Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat. That show was a joy through and through. We would be sweating and still laughing.

BWW: Before taking on the role of Jovie, were you a fan of Elf the movie?

Woods: Oh, I love the movie. I'm nothing like Jovie-I think I am really Buddy the Elf. I'm the person who starts playing Christmas music on November 1st. I am the one who wants to watch the movie so early that other people try to stop me. The great thing with this show is that the musical really captures the essence of the movie while not making you wish you were watching the movie.

BWW: What is one difference between the movie and the musical that you think audiences will enjoy?

Woods: The audience will definitely enjoy the use of the ensemble and all of the big production numbers. The music helps to move the story along. All of the big production numbers are so much fun to watch and are just outstanding. Both the movie and the musical have the comedy, but the big musical numbers will really wow people.

BWW: What is your favorite song in the musical and why is it your favorite?

Interview: Emily Woods of ELF THE MUSICAL at Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre Woods: I would have to say "Never Fall in Love with an Elf" or "Happy All the Time". "Happy All the Time" is the opening song with all the elves. I love it because it's hysterical. "Never Fall in Love with an Elf" is the first time the audience gets to see the real Jovie because she always keeps a wall up-this song gives insight into the backstory of Jovie, which gives her more depth.

BWW: Tell us about your favorite moment in the musical.

Woods: My favorite moment happens around the middle to end of act one, during "A Christmas Song". Buddy and Jovie are on their date, and she stops being mean. He keeps trying to get her to sing in public, and she always refuses. Then, when they are skating, she finally opens her mouth and sings, and you can see her love of music and that she's starting to love Buddy. It's just a beautiful moment.

BWW: Do you have any favorite holiday traditions you'd like to share with our readers?

Woods: On Christmas Eve every year we go to my parents' house. We stay up all night with my mom's side of the family. A few years back our extended family started staying the night with us, so we'd all be together a full 24 hours. Then we do it all over again the next day with my other Aunt. It's definitely a big holiday for my family.

BWW: Buddy, as we know from the story, loves sweets. What is your favorite sweet treat?

Woods: Can I say all of them? If I had to pick something, I'd have to say ice cream or a chocolate lava cake. Chocolate lava cake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream would be great. I'm the kind of person who will eat snacks before I eat real food.

BWW: Things have been quite different for the performing arts with the pandemic. As a performer, how has preparing for this show been different from the times before the virus?

Woods: We have so many safety procedures for the actors and patrons. We get temperature checks every day. We wear masks and face shields every second. No one is walking around without a mask or shield. There is sanitizing every chance we get. One thing that's very different is that we don't share props. This is uncommon-usually props get passed around, but not this time. It is intimidating because you want to make sure that you do everything right-you don't want to be the one to get anyone sick. But our creative team has really been on top of it, making sure we feel safe and comfortable.

BWW: Is there anything else you'd like to share with our readers about Elf the Musical?Interview: Emily Woods of ELF THE MUSICAL at Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre

Woods: Elf is just a joy ride. I hope that it gives everyone the joy they need during these times. I hope they can come and escape for a bit with the show because it's just so nice-it's a nice show. People will laugh from start to finish. Elf is a great way to spread joy as much as possible right now.

To get your tickets to this joy-filled holiday show, visit