This past Sunday night, I got the opportunity to visit the historic Paramount Theatre in downtown Aurora to see "Elf: The Musical." It was worth the drive.
Based on the 2003 New Line Cinema film "Elf," starring Will Ferrell, this musical tells the tale of Buddy, a human who believed he was an elf for 30 years, who sets out to find his workaholic father, Walter Hobbes, in New York City just days before Christmas. Along with his father, Buddy finds a stepmother, Emily, and a stepbrother, Michael.
When Buddy first arrives in New York City, the set was pleasing and entertaining to the eye, complete with skyscrapers and flashing advertisements that mimicked Times Square.
With music, lyrics and choreography brought to life by Matthew Sklar, Chad Beguelin and Amber Mak, respectively, the show was delightful, and even the lobby was decorated with the spirit of Christmas.
The lobby was adorned with a larger-than-life decorated tree, wreaths, bows and lights, and peppermint hot chocolate was available.
Kyle Adams made the perfect aloof, comedic and kindhearted Buddy. Making his Paramount Theatre debut, Adams brought fun and excitement to the role, starting with his first scene after he popped out from a gift box on stage and placed below a Christmas countdown clock that read "28 days and 6 hours until Christmas."
The perfect complement to Buddy is Jovie, portrayed by Samantha Pauly, Buddy's love interest whom he meets during his short time at Macy's. She acts as a softer Ebenezer Scrooge, even rejecting the idea of singing at first.
Pauly lets her voice soar during her solo performance of "Never Fall in Love" in the second act. Without her voice being overpowered by the orchestra, perfectly conducted by Tom Vendafreddo, the audience could clearly hear the distinct range of her voice.
The set and costume design was everything you'd want a holiday-themed show to be, complete with "snow" falling above the audience, and another big surprise during the finale that can't be missed.
Mak directed a musical, well-worthy of the standing ovation it received, about family, acceptance and the spirit of Christmas.