"Seinfeld" Star Wayne Knight Is Santa in Broadway Holiday Run of Elf

By Adam Hetrick
20 Sep 2012

Wayne Knight
Wayne Knight

"Seinfeld" star Wayne Knight will star as Santa in the Broadway return of the holiday musical Elf, which will begin performances Nov. 9 at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre.

Knight, who also appeared on Broadway in Sweet Charity, Gemini and Art, will step into the role originated on Broadway in 2010 by George Wendt. Casting for the central role of Buddy the Elf – originated on Broadway by Sebastian Arcelus – has not been announced

As previously reported, Tony Award winner Beth Leavel will again portray Emily opposite Tony nominee Mark Jacoby as her husband Walter with Valerie Wright as Deb, Adam Heller as Mr. Greenway and Michael Mandell as the store manager.

Elf has a score by Wedding Singer songwriters Matthew Sklar (music) and Chad Beguelin (lyrics) and a book by Tony Award winners Bob Martin (The Drowsy Chaperone) and Thomas Meehan (Annie, Hairspray, The Producers).



The production reunites members of the original 2010 Broadway creative team. Elf premiered at the Hirschfeld Theatre in 2010. Elf will run through Jan. 6, 2013.

Tony Award winner Casey Nicholaw (The Book of Mormon, The Drowsy Chaperone) is the director and choreographer of Elf. The musical comedy broke records at the Hirschfeld box office three times over the course of its 58-performance run in 2010 and grossed $1,572,835.50 million during Christmas week.

Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures in association with Unique Features is presenting the nine-week return engagement.

Elf is the third holiday offering announced to play New York City this season. The new musical A Christmas Story!, by Dogfight songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, will play Broadway's Lunt-Fontanne Theatre beginning in November; and the national tour of Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical will play the Theater at Madison Square Garden in December.

Elf has designs by Tony winners David Rockwell (scenic design), Gregg Barnes (costume design) and Natasha Katz (lighting design) as well as Tony nominee Peter Hylenski (sound design), Josh Marquette (hair and wig design) and Zachary Borovay (projections). Tony winner Doug Besterman provides orchestrations.

According to producers, "Elf is the hilarious tale of Buddy, a young orphan child who mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported back to the North Pole. Buddy is raised unaware that he is actually a human, until his enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth. With Santa’s permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father and discover his true identity. Faced with the harsh reality that his father is on the naughty list and his step-brother doesn’t even believe in Santa, Buddy is determined to win over his new family and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas. This modern day Christmas classic is sure to make everyone embrace their inner Elf."

A cast album preserves the original Broadway production.

For tickets visit Telecharge.com.

Here's a look at the 2010 production: