'Elf' rings in the holiday season with charm and joy

Submitted photoHAPPY ALL THE TIME: Buddy (Dan Bob Higgins) kicks up his heels as he sings that he’s “Happy All The Time” in Christmastown at the North Pole in Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre’s production of Elf, The Musical, now on stage through Dec. 31. The Broadway version of the favorite holiday film is making its Beef & Boards premiere, with remaining tickets extremely limited. For reservations call the box office at 317-872-9664. For more information, including show schedule, visit beefandboards.com. A special New Year’s Eve celebration takes place on Dec. 31 feature the final performance of Elf, The Musical, a dinner buffet, dancing to live music, a champagne toast and balloon drop at midnight, followed by a breakfast buffet.

"Elf the Musical" isn't "Elf" the motion picture.

And Dan Bob Higgins isn't Will Ferrell.

Luckily, they don't need to be.

Both the stage adaptation of "Elf" and the musical's lead actor wholly live up to the spirit of the holiday classic, and its endearing main character Buddy the Elf, in the Beef & Boards Dinner Theater production on stage now.

The cast includes Higgins, who played Bernardo in West Side Story last season, as Buddy the Elf; Emily Tucker, last seen as Fiona in Shreck, The Musical, as Jovie; and Mark Epperson, last seen as Sam in Mamma Mia!, as Walter Hobbs, Buddy's father.

The addition of extended song and dance numbers only serves to increase the joy the story exudes, and — just like the movie — it is entertaining for all ages. My own date, who is not yet 5 years old, remained engaged throughout the entire production, and was enchanted with Buddy's silly-but-innocent and could not help but dance along in his seat during living numbers featuring Buddy, Jovie, elves and others.

Elf, The Musical is on stage for 46 performances through Dec. 31, with the last performance followed by a special New Year's Eve celebration — including dancing to live music and a champagne toast at midnight followed by a breakfast buffet. Tickets range from $4 to $69 ($88 for all seats to the special New Year's Eve celebration) and include Chef Odell Ward's holiday buffet, a fruit and salad bar, and unlimited coffee, tea and lemonade.

For reservations, call the box office at 317-872-9664 between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays.

Also on stage at Beef and Boards in A Christmas Carol. The one-hour production has 10 performances through Dec. 21. The theater will open its 46th season on Jan. 4 with the romantic comedy They're Playing Our Song.

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