BWW Review: ELF THE MUSICAL at Alhambra Theatre And Dining
"The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear." Alhambra Theatre and Dining's Christmas program, Elf the Musical, has arrived and is entertaining audiences of all ages! The musical based on the movie Elf, tells the story of how Buddy the Elf finds out he is actually a human and his journey to New York City to meet his father. Buddy runs into all sorts of obstacles and situations that is sure to keep audiences laughing. The show is sure to put all audiences in the Christmas spirit!
The cast is absolutely phenomenal! Buddy the Elf, performed by Dustin Maxwell, embodied the character perfectly. He was hysterical playing the quirky human elf just trying to figure out his way in the Big Apple. His quick comebacks and obliviousness kept the audience giggling through the entire performance. Maxwell's voice also blew audiences away. Every number he was a part of embodied the joy of Christmas, especially "Sparklejollytwinklejingley".
Buddy's love interest, Jovie (Jessie Booth), played the miserable and joyless character perfectly. Her expression remaining completely unamused by the Christmas season and uninterested in the merriment was amazing. She never broke character, even when the audience could not stop laughing at her attitude. Booth's voice was also astounding. Her number "Never Fall in Love with an Elf" entertained audience members and really showcased her vocal and acting talents.
Other characters to mention include the Hobbs family. Michael Hobbs (Trey Murphy) was astounding. I was thoroughly impressed by his vocal talent at his age. Both "I'll Believe in You" and "There is a Santa Claus" showcased his voice perfectly. The mother, Emily Hobbs (Jennifer Madure), was also great in these numbers with Murphy. Their chemistry as mother and son was so sweet and endearing. Walter Hobbs, performed by Mark Poppleton, embodied the workaholic father perfectly.
The entire ensemble was also amazing. From starting as elves, waddling on their knees, and singing at high range embodying the elf spirit to playing multiple characters, such as different office workers, ice skaters, etc. They made amazing use of the limited space they were give. They performed multiple dance numbers, all in sync and greatly entertaining. Even rollerblading to give the allure of ice skating in Central Park.
Other aspects worth mentioning are the amazing props that were used to transition from the North Pole to New York City and the various land marks in the Big Apple. The iceberg Buddy sits on to "float" to New York City in "World's Greatest Dad" rolled around on stage as if he was floating on the ocean. The different backgrounds, such as cut outs of the Empire State Building, Central Park, or an NYC apartment were amazing. Audience members who have been or have seen these landmarks will pick up on them right away and appreciate the work put into them.
Jacksonville is very excited for Elf the Musical because the show is SOLD OUT! Audiences will experience a show full of Christmas spirit and cheer. Elf the Musical will be performed now through December 24, 2018.