A talented cast and a classic tale help “Elf The Musical” come to life on the stage of the Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts. Hosted by The Gateway, this musical adaptation of the 2003 film is a great expression of holiday cheer.
Patrick Massey portrays the classic character of Buddy the Elf, who travels to New York to find his family after finding out he’s human. Massey gives his own take on the persona made famous by Will Ferrell and doesn’t try to copy Ferrell. His take fits well into the character of the play as a whole: fun, hopeful and just. Massey’s energy and happy-go-lucky attitude makes his Buddy someone you want to root for.
This is to say nothing of Massey’s voice, which is strong and versatile, and allows Buddy to become more than just an elf out of place but a musical star.
Another star of the show is Gerry McIntyre, playing the exuberant store manager at Macy’s who finds Buddy wandering and puts him to work. His attitude and light demeanor, combined with a natural comedic ability (and fantastic voice), make him a character that improves the show.
The show thrives because the entire cast is incredibly talented. The stars of the show are backed up by a strong ensemble, boasting powerful voices that can set the scenes for the show. And the members of the youth ensemble were a great addition, bringing a different element for several scenes.
Speaking of youth, Marty Timlin stands out in his role of Michael, Buddy’s human brother who develops an attachment to this elf-man. Timlin is in a Gateway mainstage show for the third time at just 10 years old. But his voice sounds developed, and he knows how to act.
A strong point for the show is the relationship between Buddy and his love interest, Jovie, played by Jennifer Fogarty. Fogarty’s voice is incredible and is interesting as a juxtaposition for a character that complains about not enjoying or being good at singing. Massey and Fogarty together have an intoxicating chemistry on stage, and they were able to tap into the joyous and the heartbreaking elements of early love.
And of course, we have to mention Santa Claus, played by Seth Lerner, who is a jolly narrator (and character) in this story.
The set design is also worth mentioning as a great backdrop for the actors. The creators really developed a Broadway-esque atmosphere and used lights and special effects to create new dimensions.
“Elf The Musical” is playing now through Dec. 29 with daytime and evening performances. Visit www.thegateway.org to get tickets.