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Discover your inner "Elf".

"ELF The Musical"--based on the 2003 hit movie--is the hilarious tale of Buddy, a young orphan who mistakenly crawls into Santa's bag of gifts and is transported back to the North Pole. Unaware that he actually is human, Buddy's enormous size and poor toy-making abilities ultimately force him to face the truth. With Jolly Old St. Nick's blessing, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York to find his birth father, discover his true identity, and help holiday celebrants remember their inner "elf."

The production--which runs Dec. 9-27 at The Theater at Madison Square Garden--features songs by Tony Award nominees Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin ("The Wedding Singer"), with a book by Tony Award winners Thomas Meehan ("Annie," 'The Producers," "Hairspray") and Bob Martin ("The Drowsy Chaperone"). The production will feature direction by Sam Scalamoni and choreography by Connor Gallagher.

The musical "Elf" has enjoyed past Christmastime stints on Broadway, and this year's NYC run culminates its national tour, which encompasses more than 430 performances in 58 cities and over 8,000 miles traveled. Some 250,000 people have seen "ELF The Musical" since its inception on stage in North America.

Different from the movie "Elf," the musical is narrated by Santa Claus as opposed to Papa Elf. Greg Barnes, the original Broadway costume designer who redesigned the show for the tour, came up with "knee shoes" for the actors who were playing elves at the North Pole; the footwear wraps around the actor's legs with built-in kneepads for extra comfort.

Similar to the movie, the costumes from "ELF The Musical" were heavily inspired by the elves in the claymation holiday classic, "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer." The set design for the touring production was influenced by the look of popup books and snow globes.

There are 180 costumes featured in the production. One-hundred batteries are required to power the wireless microphones for the 25 cast members. There also are 17 musicians, 86 crew members, and four managers--and 23 Etch-A-Sketches--employed in each show.

Finally, for the geographically curious, the actual North Pole is more than 4,000 miles away from New York.

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Title Annotation:Entertainment
Publication:USA Today (Magazine)
Article Type:Theater review
Date:Dec 1, 2015
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