OGLESBY — Illinois Valley Community College’s theatre department is literally kicking off the holidays with high kicks, singing and dancing when “Elf — The Broadway Musical” opens Thursday, Nov. 21, on the IVCC stage.
Based on the wildly successful Will Farrell movie, “Elf,” the story has been adapted for the stage featuring a large cast and multiple production numbers that even include tap dancing. The endearing “fish out of water” musical comedy places a North Pole elf amidst a grumpy New York City.
Starring as Buddy is Reid Tomasson of Oglesby. Buddy, after realizing he is human after all, leaves Santa (Mark Nowakowski of Peru) and his home at the North Pole in search of his father in New York.
Once in the city, he finds his workaholic father, Walter Hobbs (Don Grant Zellmer of LaSalle), a stepmother, Emily (Natalie Verucchi of Oglesby) and even a little brother, Michael (Tyler Kofoid of Oglesby).
He also finds love in the form of a department store elf, Jovie (Ashley Hurst of Peru), a friend in his father’s assistant, Deb (Megan Cullinan of Peru), and turns the store manager (Melanie Maskel of LaSalle) from a Scrooge to a true holiday fanatic.
“Elf — The Broadway Musical” will play evenings at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 21, Fridays, Nov. 22 and 29, and Saturday, Nov. 23 and 30, with matinees at 2 p.m. Sundays, Nov. 24, and Dec. 1, and Saturday, Nov. 30, in the Dr. Mary Margaret Weeg Cultural Centre.
Reserved seating is available online at www.ivcc.edu/theatre and tickets are available at the door one hour prior to performance. Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for children 12 and under.
Zellmer, director/choreographer of musical theatre, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to have this powerful cast assembled of community members, students and alumni. We’ve added some very experienced talent to our family of performers and have welcomed back many familiar faces from “Mamma Mia!’”
He added: “This high-spirited, funny and warm show is perfect for the beginning of the holiday season, is appropriate for all ages, and is a great show for theatre-lovers, too, with its bouncy music, dance, tap, ballads, and message.”
Adults appearing in “Elf — The Broadway Musical” as multiple characters and dancers are: Jake Jakielski of Marseilles, Patrick Foley of Mendota, Tracey Childers of Ottawa, Andrew Farrell of Earlville, Ryan Mooberry of Hennepin, Bob Philip of LaSalle, Emma Roden of Princeton, Lexi-Anna Verda of Peru, Joshua Wooden of Princeton, Abbi Stillwell of Streator, Ella Johns of LaSalle and Nora Maier of Peru.
Children in the cast include: Eva Beetz, Victoria Campbell, Myracle Johnson, Andie Kerestes, Ayden Lesman and Ariana Lesman.
The musical comedy is directed and choreographed by Zellmer, and produced and costumed by Dr. David A. Kuester. Production staff includes Assistant Director Chad Brokaw of Princeton, Stage Manager Alyce Scott of LaSalle, set builder and lead construction Cory Tomasson of Oglesby and costume construction Kaye Norlin of LaSalle.