Review: ELF-THE MUSICAL at Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre

A show on Santa's Nice List

By: Dec. 03, 2020
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Review: ELF-THE MUSICAL at Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre

Dutch Apple Dinner Theater's production of "Elf" is a sweet, peppermint candy cane of a show. It is silly and refreshing, and probably more universally enjoyable than some of their recent Christmas shows geared towards a more "mature" theater crowd. "Elf-The Musical" is, of course, based on the 2003 Will Ferrell film of the same name. It tells the story of Buddy, a human raised at the North Pole due to a Christmas mix-up. Upon adulthood, he realizes that he doesn't fit in, and goes on a journey of self-discovery in New York City.

Kole Mitchell McKinley stars as Buddy. While he has hints of Ferrell in his performance, his makes the role his own. I enjoyed him most during his spontaneous and random fits of singing and dancing. His voice and his body were as loose and sweet as Buddy's favorite food...maple syrup and spaghetti.

Christopher Russell plays Walter Hobbs, Buddy's biological dad. Russell plays Hobbs as a very hard worker who doesn't always have time for his family until he learns about the magic of Christmas. The character's gruffness is played down in this musical version which is a shame since many of the movie's biggest laughs stem from the immense personality differences between father and son.

Emily Woods plays Jovie, the cynical, world-weary girl who Buddy grows to love. She has a nice voice, and I especially appreciated her mannerisms and posture that suggests Jovie feels super awkward and embarrassed hanging out with some sort of crazy man-child.

The songs in the show are functional, but not especially memorable or interesting. Two exceptions would be the ballad "I'll Believe" sung by the talented Molly Samson and Dylan Loraw/Jack Packer, as well as the really fun second act opener "Nobody Cares About Santa".

"Elf-The Musical" will be enjoyed by audience members of all ages. Combined with a tasty meal from the Dutch Apple kitchen, and you have a memorable (and safe) holiday experience. Tickets and more information can be found on the Dutch Apple website.