Dec. 3—Santa is coming to Aiken.
And he's bringing Buddy the elf, and his friends and family with him, to the Aiken Community Theatre. The theatre will hold performances of "ELF The Musical," which is based on the popular Christmas movie "Elf." The movie is about Buddy, a human who grew up at the North Pole thinking he was an elf. When he learns the truth, he heads to New York City to find his biological father. While there he works to show his family, and New York, what Christmas really means.
The ACT show is directed by John Lewis, who said there are some differences between the movie and the play.
"There are some different scenes," Lewis said. "A lot of things are compressed. There's some stuff that's in the movie that's not in the play because of just having to move things along and adding so much music. There's some characters that may have been in the movie that are not even in the play."
The show features 10 to 12 musical numbers that range from solos to duets to whole company numbers, Lewis said.
"There's a lot of songs that I really like," Lewis said. "The opening one, the opening song is really good. I do like ... Jovie and Buddy's duet ("Never Fall in Love with an Elf"), it's mostly Jovie, because she (Jenna Odle) can really belt it out and she's a good singer and it's a fun song."
There will also be some surprises for the audience , Lewis said. One of which is little kids playing many different parts.
"We didn't have enough men audition, so we've got kids doing adult men roles," Lewis said. "So we kind of just, we've got teenagers being the cops and little kids being security guards. And it's fun, they're getting to do more than they would have and that to me is really fun, they're getting to do a lot more than they would have if they had been able to cast is exactly the way it's written."
Lewis said that he wanted to direct the show because it's fun. He likes working with kids and he likes comedies.
He added that people should come see the show because "Elf" is a holiday classic that people love.
"I don't think anybody is going to be disappointed when they come see it," Lewis said. "Our production is very character driven. We haven't built elaborate sets. For one, we didn't have time, but my preference is not to have elaborate sets if I can help it. In this show because there's so many scene changes it worked easier and better. We're using projections to set the mood."
According to the Aiken Community Facebook page, the official cast list of "ELF The Musical" is Tres Taylor as Buddy, Jenna Odle as Jovie, Tony Ateca as Walter Hobbs, Christy Smith-Barton as Emily Hobbs, Josh Dixon as Michael Hobbs, Ashanti Friels-Pazas Deb, Mac Hanna as Santa, and Melissa Noakes as Mrs. Claus. The ensemble, and other parts, include Rachel Hatfield, Nathan Jones, Jeremy McCoy, Aubrey Zelph, Jude Voyles, Hillary Kourliouros, Anastasia Kourliouros, Giovanna Kourliouros, Elora Klepac, Savannah Warren, Selah Spivey, Teagan Wright, Sara Wright, Alena Crowley, Aubree Campbell, Bridget Elmshaueser, Scott Woodworth, Daniel Woodworth, Nathan Woodworth, Andrew Woodworth and Claire Woodworth.
Lewis said the show is about two hours including intermission.
The performances will be held Dec. 9-10, 15-17 at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 11 at 2 p.m. at the Aiken Community Theatre. There will be an ASL interpreter at the Dec. 15 performance. The theatre is located at 126 Newberry St. S.W. in downtown Aiken. For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit the ACT box office or aikencommunitytheatre.org.