The Island Theater presents Elf: The Musical Dec. 10-19

By Nick Blank nick@claytodayonline.com
Posted 12/1/21

FLEMING ISLAND – A lovable early-2000s Christmas comedy will take the stage in musical form next week.

The Island Theater is hosting “Elf: The Musical” based on the 2003 film and Christmas …

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The Island Theater presents Elf: The Musical Dec. 10-19

Posted

FLEMING ISLAND – A lovable early-2000s Christmas comedy will take the stage in musical form next week.

The Island Theater is hosting “Elf: The Musical” based on the 2003 film and Christmas staple “Elf” which starred Will Ferrell, James Caan and Zooey Deschanel. It was adapted for Broadway in 2010.

For the local adaptation, director Caleb Wheeler said the story is largely the same: Buddy, a human raised by elves in the North Pole, adjusts to New York City and meets his father during Christmas. However, the musical element heightens the story and energy of the characters, Wheeler said.

“Buddy and the North Pole come to life a bit more in a musical,” Wheeler said.

The show runs from Dec. 10-19. Tickets are available at theislandtheater.com/elf-tickets.

The planning process began in September. Since the Island Theater is open for auditions, a familiar story like “Elf” brought a large number of people out to act and volunteer. Staging “Elf” as a musical is a serious undertaking, Wheeler said.

Rehearsals are now three to four times a week, the closer the cast and crew get to opening night.

“There are a lot of different aspects to putting on a show, whether it’s costumes or scenery,” Wheeler said. “Our goal is always to utilize [performers] the best we can. Getting rehearsal schedules lined up is always a challenge.”

“Elf: The Musical” is the final show of 2021 for the Island Theater, which ran a diverse offering of productions like “The Lion, the Witch and Wardrobe,” “The Diary of Anne Frank,” “The Addams Family and “Carrie.”

The Island Theater stayed open during the pandemic. Aside from the one main stage play a month, the organization also has workshops and summer camps for young thespians.

“I’d definitely thank Tricia Williams, the theater’s founder, for keeping it open,” Wheeler said. “The workshops give the kids the opportunity to be in a show and gives them a good learning experience about how to audition and things like that.”

Now, the theater is priming for its 2022 slate that tackles “SpongeBob SquarePants,” “The Great Gatsby” and “Doctor Doolittle.”

“We have a lot going on for next year,” Wheeler said.

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