BWW Review: ELF THE MUSICAL is a jolly good time!

Holly Jolly!! Elf: The Musical is a charming holiday story about a little elf that could. Buddy grows up at Santa’s Workshop in the North Pole, thinking all along that he’s an Elf. Santa must finally break the news. Buddy is actually a human who crawled into Santa’s gift bag as a baby and stowed away on the sleigh one Christmas Eve. With hope in his heart, Buddy sets off to find his human family in New York City and restore the Christmas Spirit for his dad, brother, and step mom. Based on the family favorite movie starring Will Ferrell, Elf: The Musical is written by Bob Martin and Thomas Meehan, with music and lyrics by Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin. Poteet Theatre inside St. Luke’s United Methodist Church presents this lovely family musical on their cozy mainstage in midtown Oklahoma City.

Artfully directed by Collin Andrulonis, this ensemble cast gives their all, performing full out and making the most of this sweet Christmas tale. Justin Larman is excellent as Buddy. He’s full of Christmas cheer, he’s energetic and happy, but also forlorn at times. Larman is a consistently strong performer and always gives his all in every role. Sierra Sikes Posada is lovely and warm as Jovie, a Macy’s employee who immediately catches Buddy’s eye and heart. Todd Walters is stern as Buddy’s father Walter Hobbs. Paige Cain is understated as Buddy’s would-be stepmom Emily Hobbs. Carl Crane, Jr. is delightful as Santa Claus. William Ohl is quite villainous as Mr. Greenway, the publisher and CEO of Mr. Hobbs’ company. Emma Day is skilled and poised as Buddy’s stepbrother Michael. Day has a delightful vocal talent! Standout performances and solos are given by Madison K. Eckerson as Deb and Terjuana Brooks as the Manager. Both are excellent singers and performers and bring the house down with their dynamite vocals.

The large cast is a nice mix of professional, community, and child performers, and they all work well together to create big musical numbers. Choreography by Kassie Carroll Downey utilizes the full stage and demands high energy from the players. This cast is well-rehearsed and perfected. They pull off these complex routines and make the work look easy. A particularly challenging and interesting scene occurs when Jovie and Buddy go ice skating. The cast uses roller skates and rollerblades, and the effect is seamless! The turntable on stage is also utilized beautifully, and it’s always exciting to see a moving set on stage. The smart set design by Johnathan Jarmon proves that big musicals can be done, and done well, in small spaces.

The Elf Ensemble is made up of Claire Boswell, Kaylie Fitzpatrick, Jaclynn Hull, Kayelynn Osborn, Emma Day, and Stella Ranking. The Office Ensemble includes Rusty Steel, Dena Phillips, Lance Overdorff, Kirk Coyer, and Julia Donaldson. The Macy’s & NYC Ensemble includes Mischa Gray, Dena Phillips, Rusty Steel, Peyton Ward, James Clark, William Ohl, Gretchen Grace Beatty, Claire Boswell, Kirk Coyer, Julia Donaldson, Madison K. Eckerson, Kaylie Fitzpatrick, Jaclynn Hull, Kayelynne Osborn, Stella Rankin, and Hudson Steel. The Fake Santas are portrayed by James Clark, Lance Overdorff, Rusty Steel, Peyton Ward, Dena Phillips, and Julia Donaldson.

Fans of the classic movie will recognize their favorite scenes, and the added musical numbers are a treat for the whole family. Elf: The Musical is everything a Christmas musical should be. It touches your heart, brings a bit of Christmas magic, and just makes you feel good. You might even shed a tear in the most sentimental moments. Elf: The Musical is a jolly good time for kids and adults, and it’s impossible to watch without smiling throughout! Like Buddy, smiling will indeed be your favorite, and you’ll love Christmas just a little more.

For more information and tickets to Poteet Theatre’s upcoming Spring season, visit