Skip to main content Skip to footer site map
Review: ELF THE MUSICAL at Drury Lane Theatre Oakbrook Terrace, IL

Review: ELF THE MUSICAL at Drury Lane Theatre Oakbrook Terrace, IL

Production runs through January 8, 2023

Sing loud for all to hear.

Drury Lane Theatre's holiday production is Elf. From the opening number until the final curtain, Elf will make you feel the joy of Christmas as a child again. That's the beauty of Buddy the Elf and in large part due to the talented Ben Dow, being moved from understudy to lead, in the title role. His wide eyed expressions and sheer joy of everything, especially maple syrup, is the heart of the story. Buddy wants everyone to be happy and feel joy. We are taken into the Buddy's story at the very beginning by Santa (expertly portrayed by the spellbinding A.D. Weaver). On Buddy's journey we meet all the characters from the movie.

The opening number with the entire company has the elves onstage singing and dancing. These actors have knee pads on with flowing costumes. A sight to behold with awe.

Buddy's journey to New York City begins to find his father after he learns he is not an elf but a human. When Buddy arrives at the office of his work driven father (Sean Fortunato), his first interaction is with Deb (Marya Grandy with a laugh you will never forget) one of his father's assistants. Buddy is also delighted to learn he has a stepmother (Melody A. Bettis) who is both compassionate and yet not believing and a younger half brother Michael (sweetly portrayed by Gabriel Solis in his Drury Lane debut). Famously Buddy shows Michael the best breakfast is cold spaghetti with maple syrup. Jovie (Lydia Burke and her powerhouse voice) is the woman Buddy becomes attracted to and pursues her ultimately winning her over.

The ensemble is top notch. If you want to see singing Santa's (with a nod to Bob Fosse) this is definitely the show to see. It's a fantastic number (Nobody Cares About Santa) and I would not be surprised if it receives a standing ovation. Each of the company/ensemble numbers are showstopping in their own right. The director/choreographer Lynne Kurdziel Formato has created a memorable theater experience. Please stay in our area! The music and lyrics written by Matthew Skylar and Chad Beguelin is very upbeat with some big band thrown in. The Drury Lane orchestra under the direction Christopher Sargent is music to the ears. The costumes by Rachel Boylan, lighting effectively designed by Lindsey Lyddan, sound (shredding machine, bells especially) by Ray Nardelli, props secured by Cassy Shillo and the projections shown above the stage created by Anthony Churchill and the electronic music designed by Ethan Deppe carried the story seamlessly.

There is a quote in the program attributed to Dale Evans: "Christmas, my child, is love in action. Every time we love, every time we give, it's Christmas". This is definitely the theme of Elf the musical. Drury Lane has given the perfect pre-Christmas gift. Unwrap it, share it and enjoy it.

 



Photos: THE BUTTCRACKER: A NUTCRACKER BURLESQUE Now Playing At The Greenhouse Theater Cent Photo
See photos of The Buttcracker: A Nutcracker Burlesque, returning this holiday season with the sixth edition of Chicago’s favorite alternative holiday show, a twist on the original story and a live event not to be missed, directed by Miguel Long and choreographed by Dylan Kerr, now playing through December 31 at the Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave. 

Steep Theatre Awarded Largest Grant In Company History Photo
Steep Theatre has been awarded a $2.988 million Community Development Grant from the City of Chicago to transform its newly acquired building in Edgewater into a state-of-the-art performance venue and permanent artistic home. 

TEASE THE SEASON: A Holiday Burlesque Extravaganza is Coming to the Newport Theater This M Photo
'We're here, we're queer, and we're spreading holiday cheer!' 'Tis time for Tease the Season: A Holiday Burlesque Extravaganza at the Newport Theater!

THE BOOK OF MORMON Is Coming to the UIS Performing Arts Center for the First Time in April Photo
Single tickets for the national tour of THE BOOK OF MORMON, winner of nine Tony Awards including Best Musical, will go on sale to the general public on Monday, December 5th at 10 am.


From This Author - Tina St. Angelo Wetzel

I live in Naperville IL, a Chicago suburb. Theater and the arts is a passion.  I have been to almost every theater venue in Chicago and the regional theaters including Drury Lane Oakbrook, Mar... (read more about this author)


Review: A CHRISTMAS CAROL At Goodman Theatre, ChicagoReview: A CHRISTMAS CAROL At Goodman Theatre, Chicago
November 29, 2022

What did our critic think of A CHRISTMAS CAROL at Goodman Theatre, Chicago?

Review: THE SOUND OF MUSIC at Paramount TheatreReview: THE SOUND OF MUSIC at Paramount Theatre
November 20, 2022

What did our critic think of THE SOUND OF MUSIC at Paramount Theatre Aurora, IL?

Review: ELF THE MUSICAL at Drury Lane Theatre Oakbrook Terrace, ILReview: ELF THE MUSICAL at Drury Lane Theatre Oakbrook Terrace, IL
November 18, 2022

What did our critic think of ELF THE MUSICAL at Drury Lane Theatre Oakbrook Terrace, IL? Drury Lane Theatre's holiday production is Elf. From the opening number until the final curtain, Elf will make you feel the joy of Christmas as a child again. That's the beauty of Buddy the Elf and in large part due to the talented Ben Dow, being moved from understudy to lead, in the title role. His wide eyed expressions and sheer joy of everything, especially maple syrup, is the heart of the story. Buddy wants everyone to be happy and feel joy. We are taken into the Buddy's story at the very beginning by Santa (expertly portrayed by the spellbinding A.D. Weaver). On Buddy's journey we meet all the characters from the movie.

Review: LE COMTE ORY at Lyric Opera House ChicagoReview: LE COMTE ORY at Lyric Opera House Chicago
November 14, 2022

What did our critic think of LE COMTE ORY at Lyric Opera House Chicago?

Review: A CHRISTMAS STORY THE MUSICAL at Marriott Theatre, Lincolnshire ILReview: A CHRISTMAS STORY THE MUSICAL at Marriott Theatre, Lincolnshire IL
November 11, 2022

What did our critic think of A CHRISTMAS STORY THE MUSICAL at Marriott Theatre, Lincolnshire IL?