Elf The Musical spreads cheer at the Grand Theatre this season

A graphic showing the title - Elf: The Musical spreads cheer at the Grand Theatre this season. CREDIT: FSU PUBLICATIONS AND COMMUNICATIONS DEPARTMENT

As the holiday season sneaks up on us, the Grand Theatre on Richmond St. will be sharing the Christmas classic, Elf. Name a better way to embrace the Christmas spirit, I’ll wait!

The musical adaptation of the beloved film is directed by Dennis Garnhum, who is also the Artistic Director of the Grand Theatre. Elf will be on from Nov. 22 all the way up to New Year’s Eve, on Dec. 31.

Elf: The Musical originally opened on Broadway in 2010, and later in the West End. It’s now a holiday staple, getting its own limited run here in London, reimagined lovingly by Garnhum.

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Garnhum grew up in London, Ont. and has been in the theatre industry for 30 years.

“It was the exposure to the arts as an elementary school student that made it really possible for me,” Garnhum said. Garnhum recognized that Elf is a well-known story and whilst that was one of the reasons why he chose to direct it, he also said that the music and joyfulness that it brings is “extraordinary.”

“The thing about Elf is it’s really a joyful celebration; I think people always look at the holiday season for a way to celebrate or kick start their holiday, and I think this is the show that does that,” Garnhum said.

Garnhum said the cheer a show like Elf brings can be just what audiences need around the holiday season.

“It’s such an optimistic play for our times; joyful, fun, silly, and it has a gigantic heart,” he said.

After looking into this musical, Garnhum also decided that Elf would become a Christmas staple in his household.

“I think it’s been on many people’s list and it hadn’t been until I looked at it recently to do it as a musical but from now on…it will be my new Christmas tradition.”

Whilst you can always watch the original movie on the various different platforms out there, there is nothing quite like being in a theatre and watching a musical live.

“There’s nothing better than going to the theatre and being among 800 people celebrating and laughing and applauding,” Garnhum said. He encouraged the community at Fanshawe to come out and have a good time whilst supporting the Grand.

For those who have never seen Elf before, Elf is about a boy named Buddy who finds himself in the North Pole, growing up as an elf. After constantly being called “special” by the other elves, he realizes he is actually human and embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father. Along the way, Buddy encounters a few difficulties that he had never faced in the North Pole. The musical follows the same story as the classic film, with a few new characters sprinkled in, as well as, of course, the inclusion of original music and lyrics by Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin respectively. After all, as Buddy the Elf would say, the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.

Take a break from the stressful time of studying for exams and enjoy a fun night at the Grand embracing the holiday season that is upon us. Get the opportunity to feel festive and indulge in this holiday activity that may very well become a tradition for you the same way it did for Garnhum.