Spread Christmas Cheer with Elf the Musical

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Spread Christmas Cheer with Elf the Musical

Elizabeth Amstutz, Staff writer

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On November 21, 22, and 23 the Boardman High School Drama Guild will perform their production of Elf the Musical. The cast members started rehearsal in September, although the idea of a Christmas theme has been in the works for much longer. “After the closing of The Little Mermaid, the team and I had discussed how we wanted to do a Christmas Musical. I had no doubt that Elf the Musical was the perfect choice for us, but the rights to perform the musical were not available to high schools at the time. They were only allowing professional theatre companies to perform Elf the Musical.” says Rachel Ruggeri, the director of the production. When putting on a musical or play of any kind, the theatre must be granted permission through the specific copyrights placed on the show. “To my surprise, the  licensing company announced that the rights to the musical would be opened to high schools and community theatres for a limited time only. I checked the website three times each day until they were released. Finally in July, they were released and Boardman High School was one of the first high schools in the country to obtain the rights to perform the musical.” 

Elf the Musical is a stage adaption of the 2003 Christmas comedy film of the same name. After the films critical and commercial success, it was turned into a musical with music by Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin and script by Bob Martin and Thomas Meehan. The musical ran on Broadway during the christmas season of  2010-2011 and 2012-2013. The show also toured the United States in 2012 and 2014. 

Elf the Musical is narrated by Santa Claus and tells the tale of Buddy, a young orphan who slips into Santa’s bag one Christmas night. After spending 30 years being raised by elves, he finds out he is a human and travels to New York City to find his real family. The upbeat musical numbers provide clever and humorous anecdotes throughout the show. Big Christmas dance numbers such as “Sparklejollytwinklejingley” and “The Story of Buddy the Elf” have an infectious amount of fun, leaving audiences toe-tapping in their seats. Other fun numbers include “Nobody Cares About Santa,” “Just Like Him,”  and power ballads such as “Never Fall in Love with an Elf” and “World’s Greatest Dad” continuing the narration of the story through song. There is only about one slow song in the show, “I’ll Believe in You” a heartfelt number full of hope for Christmas. 

The principal cast of Elf the Musical includes senior Chase Picino as Buddy, Miranda Russell as Jovie, senior William Arnim as Walter Hobbs, Elizabeth Amstutz as Emily Hobbs, eighth grade student Brennan Gorby as Michael Hobbs, Daniel Gordiejew as Santa Claus, and Jayleen Williams as Deb. This cast of characters adds to the approximately 100 members, including ensemble roles, understudies, crew, and pit members. “It takes us from a high school level production to a professional level. I just love to see everyone’s improvement. It gives me goosebumps!” 

Come kick off the holiday season at Elf the Musical on November 21 and 22 at 7pm and 23 at 2pm and 7pm at the Boardman Performing Arts Center.