Theatre Review: "Elf" At The Fox Good Holiday Fare - On The Surface
If, like me, you haven’t seen the movie, here’s the rundown. Buddy is a human who, as a baby, crawled into Santa’s sack and ended up at the North Pole. He is adopted and raised as an Elf and has no idea, even when he towers over the other elves, that he is really human. Once he discovers this fact, and that his father, Walter Hobbs, is on the “naughty” list, Buddy heads to NYC to rescue his dad, his little brother Michael, an unbeliever, and indeed, Christmas itself, by injecting NYC’s curmudgeons and jades with a bit of “Sparklejollytwinklejingley” Christmas Spirit.
As a musical, I was unimpressed with the music. The dancing was great, but not one song stays with you when you leave. I found the book equally weak, the conflicts shallow and heavily manufactured, the resolution obvious, predictable, unsatisfying. Don’t get me wrong, I like Christmas entertainment for all ages; I love A Christmas Story, it appeals to kids and adults, but the book for Elf is only for kids with one adult joke involving Ray’s Pizza to sustain us. While overall I found the cast talented and polished, it often felt they were rushing the lines, punching the jokes too hard and the dialogue was often flat. There is also a very unnecessary, unrealistic love story between Buddy and Jovie (played winsomely by Kate Hennies.)
Elf continues at the Fabulous Fox through December 29th.