Arcelus ( Jersey Boys, Wicked) will star as Buddy opposite Spanger ( The Wedding Singer, Rock of Ages) as Jovie. Will Ferrell and Zooey Deschanel originated the roles, respectively, in the 2003 film.
Tony Award nominee Casey Nicholaw will direct and choreograph the musical that will officially open Nov. 14 and continue through Jan. 2, 2011. Elf – The Musical has a book by Tony Award winners Bob Martin ( The Drowsy Chaperone) and Thomas Meehan ( Annie, Hairspray, The Producers). Wedding Singer songwriters Matthew Sklar (music) and Chad Beguelin (lyrics) penned the score.
The cast of Elf will feature the previously announced Beth Leavel ( The Drowsy Chaperone, Mamma Mia!) as Emily, Mark Jacoby ( Sweeney Todd, Show Boat) as Walter, George Wendt ("Cheers," Hairspray) as Santa, Matthew Gumley ( Addams Family) as Michael, Valerie Wright ( Steel Pier) as Deb, Michael McCormick ( Curtains) as Mr. Greenway and Michael Mandell ( Big River) as the Store Manager.
The Elf ensemble will include Timothy J. Alex, Callie Carter, Cara Cooper, Lisa Gadja, Asmeret Ghebremichael, Blake Hammond, Stacey Todd Holt, Emily Hsu, Jenny Hill, Nancy Johnston, Marc Kessler, Matt Loehr, Michael James Scott, Noah Weisberg, Lee Wilkins and Kirsten Wyatt.
Designing Elf will be Tony winners David Rockwell (scenic design), Gregg Barnes (costume design) and Natasha Katz (lighting design), and Tony nominee Peter Hylenski (sound design). Tony winner Doug Besterman will provide 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." Tickets are exclusively on sale to American Express cardholders through Sept. 24. Tickets will be available to the general public beginning Sept. 25.
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The Al Hirschfeld Theatre is located at 302 West 45th Street.