A curious orphan infant accidentally crawls in Santa’s Christmas bag and ends up back at the North Pole. Fast forward several years, and Buddy the elf comes to the startling realization that, being 6 feet tall and the only baritone in the elf choir, maybe he’s more than just a little different: he’s a human.
Elf became an instant classic with its combination of sentimentality and humor, like the cinematic equivalent to a stocking full of candy. To see the movie come to life on stage, OKC Broadway brings Elf the Musical to the Civic Center Musical Hall.
Among the cast’s ensemble is Betty Weinberger, a graduate of Oklahoma City University who finds that her rigorous college education was the ticket to her success.
“I think my education at OCU is one of the only reasons that I actually get to do what I do,” she says. “People tell me all the time that when they see Oklahoma City University on a resume during an audition, they automatically know that you’re going to be a professional.”
Weinberger feels both lucky and excited to be returning to Oklahoma for a leg of the tour, as she created lasting connections with the people and places in the state.
“It’s the program that I went to Oklahoma for, but what I found after living there for four years is that I really fell in love with Oklahoma,” she says. “I saw Broadway shows at the Civic Center Music Hall during college, so I remember thinking how cool it would be to come back and do a show in the theater. And I get to now, which is a really special thing.”
The common fear with movie-to-musical adaptations is the loss of classic moments and beloved characters, but this musical promises to keep all that and add Broadway vitality into the mix, too.
“With the musical, you have all of the iconic characters, you have a lot of iconic lines, and the storyline is similar. But what’s great about this show is that you have bright lights, Broadway pizazz, giant dance numbers, costumes – it’s a whole new world,” she says. “It does honor the movie, but the musical just brings this whole new, beautiful light to the story.”
Any theater company can only select a certain amount of shows for every season, but Elf was a no-brainer choice for OKC Broadway Executive Director Elizabeth Gray.
“Being able to include a terrific holiday-themed Broadway musical for OKC Broadway patrons was a big draw in bringing the show to Oklahoma City,” says Gray. “In Elf, we really see a big, fun Broadway musical that is a great alternative to traditional holiday stage productions, yet with a storyline loved by so many through the now classic movie.”
The show runs Dec. 27-31. For details and tickets, visit okcbroadway.com.