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Review: ELF THE MUSICAL at Edmonds Driftwood Players

Review: ELF THE MUSICAL at Edmonds Driftwood Players

Elf runs now through December 18th.

Review: ELF THE MUSICAL at Edmonds Driftwood Players
Penticuff and King in Elf the Musical
at Edmonds Driftwood Players
Photo Credit: Dale Sutton

ELF at Driftwood Players is full of humor and heart and a lot of plain old fun. With a set that is one part Jenga and one part Tetris, the Driftwood Theater has tackled this monster of a show with great aplomb. The feel good show of the season leaves everyone smiling with just a tad of delighted surprise that such a small theater could pull off such a big show. Come in from the cold and warm your toes, and this show will warm your heart as well.

ELF THE MUSICAL is the story of Buddy the Elf, who is actually a human raised by the Elves at the North Pole. When he learns that he is human and his father is still alive, Santa sends him to New York City to find his father. While the trip was intended to help Buddy, he soon discovers that he may be the key to helping Santa save Christmas by bringing the Christmas spirit to the non-believers in New York City.

The show opens with the wonderful comedic talent and stage command of Eric Hartley as Santa. His lilting voice and jolly way set the mood for the entire show. We first meet Buddy (Jordan King) in one of his many leaps across the stage. Rarely is it more obvious that someone was born for a role than King to play Buddy. His antics and personality alone would make a great Buddy, but his dance skills and voice make him indisputably the star of the show. The other stand out comedic performance was given by Lillie Paries as the Manager at Macys. Her deadpan reactions were the perfect counter to Buddy's cheer. Paries also brought some considerable dancing skills to the show. At first I wasn't sure about Sydney Penticuff as Jovie, but it quickly became apparent that her character is a holiday curmudgeon and watching Buddy win her over was one of the best storylines. Her rendition of Never Fall in Love with an Elf was one of my favorite parts. And Calvin Stephens as Michael brought some youthful energy with a nice mix of comedy and charm.

Director Craig Schieber scores a major win for fitting such a big show into a small space without compromising the wow moments. The show moved at a nice clip and the many transitions were done with speed and near perfection. Set Designer Tom Williams provided ever-transforming set pieces that allowed a variety of looks from just a few pieces. Williams coordinated with Lighting Designer Richard Beckerman to include projections that help fill the space and set each separate scene as well as provide key elements of the storytelling. Choreographers Laura McFarlane and Elizabeth Posluns created an intricate plan that showcased the skills of the more talented dancers while also providing effective choreographers for those that are movers rather than dancers. The result was a show with high levels of dance without overreaching.

The only downside of opening night came from a few audience members who treated the show like a concert yelling out to cast members. The holiday season is full of a multitude of choices of things to do, and ELF deserves to be on your priority list. If you're looking for a dose of holiday cheer without a side of over sentimentality or dancing sugarplums, then ELF THE MUSICAL fits the bill.




From This Author - Kelly Rogers Flynt

Born and educated in the South, Kelly Rogers Flynt has happily transitioned to life in the Pacific Northwest where she enjoys more rain and fewer mosquitos. She works as a director, choreographer,&... (read more about this author)


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