Review: ELF: THE BROADWAY MUSICAL at the Jacksonville Center for the Performing Arts

The production runs now through December 11th.

By: Dec. 08, 2022
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Review: ELF: THE BROADWAY MUSICAL at the Jacksonville Center for the Performing Arts
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'Tis the holiday season and the kickoff of the 56th season of Broadway in Jacksonville hosted by the FSCJ Artist Series. Elf the Musical began its run at the Jacksonville Center for the Performing Arts Elf the Musical, based on the Will Ferrell movie Elf, follows the story of Buddy, a human who thinks he is an elf from the North Pole travels to New York City to meet his biological father. The musical is a fun time for the whole family!

The lead, Buddy (Cody Garcia) was incredibly talented. Their comedic timing was stupendous. Right before a technical difficulty that stopped the show, Buddy wipes his tongue of the "passion fruit", and the seamless way Garcia says "That lady lied to me" just loud enough for the audience to hear and just quiet enough to seem as though they were whispering had the audience laughing out loud. After the technical difficulty, they did not miss a beat, exemplifying their acting abilities. Another funny moment Garcia had was when they attempt to be kind to the workaholic Mr. Greenway (Bobby Montaniz) by telling him "Merry Christmas" and then bending down to kiss him on the forehead made everyone chuckle. Buddy (Garcia) also had great chemistry with everyone in the cast, just as the character we have all come to know and love.

The Hobbs family were also wonderful. Walter Hobbs (Christopher Robert Smith) had a wonderful voice, but more than that exemplified great character growth. During "The Story of Buddy the Elf", the audience views Hobbs (Smith) come around to the idea of Buddy's story when it means it is saving his job. Then, when Hobbs (Smith) realizes he may miss out on crucial family time at the holidays with both of his sons, he decides his career is no longer the priority. Michael Hobbs (Jaxon James) played the overlooked, sarcastic son wonderfully. The audience could genuinely tell how hurt he was that his father never wanted to spend time with him. The same goes for Emily Hobbs (Caitlin Lester-Sams). She has become frustrated by her husband's priority for his work over his family. She even goes so far as to find out if Buddy is truly Walter's husband by sending a sample of Buddy's hair and Walter's hair to her cousin who can read DNA. The mother-son number in "I'll Believe in You" was a great moment for seeing the desperation in these two characters to spend time with the patriarch of the family. The number also displayed their great vocal talent.

Another character to mention is Jovie (Cait Zuckerman). Caitlin was great as the grumpy Macy's worker that is charmed by the lovable human elf. The number the displayed her talent most was "Never Fall in Love (with an Elf)."

The entire ensemble was also great! Anytime you get a bunch of adults on a stage and make them sit and dance on their knees will bring a laugh! The audience also loved the ice skating in Central Park, but on roller blades.

Elf the Musical will be in Jacksonville now through December 11th at the Jacksonville Center for the Performing Arts.



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