‘Elf, the Musical’ is delightful

By Hollyann Gardner
Times-News correspondent

   DURHAM — “Elf, the Musical” is a delight from beginning to end.
From the energetic dance numbers like “Happy All the Time” to emotion-filled solos like “World’s Greatest Dad”, this show will fill you with the Christmas spirit of love and joy.
The show is being performed at the Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC) now through Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018.
The story follows Buddy (Eric Williams), a human who was raised by elves, and his quest to find his biological father Walter Hobbs (John Adkison) in New York City. Throughout his journey, he interacts with and makes an impression on many unsuspecting individuals, including Walter’s wife, Emily (Caitlin Lester-Sams); his son, Michael (Grady Miranda); and a special girl named Jovie (Paloma D’Auria). The storyline sticks to the beloved movie for the most part, but the addition of songs and extra jokes and details puts this stage version over the top.
   Williams is exceptional as Buddy. He puts his own twist on the character instead of attempting to copy Will Ferrell, and it works wonderfully. Vocally, he will blow you away with his gorgeous tenor belts, as well as with his acting and dancing skills.
D’Auria’s Jovie is a character you will grow to love, especially with her added backstory that you don’t hear about in the original movie. Jovie’s emotions and character growth is perfectly portrayed through D’Auria’s stunning vocals and chemistry with Williams.
The Hobbs family trio and their struggles feel incredibly real and heartfelt with the talents of Adkison, Lester-Sams and Miranda. All three of these actors are impressive performers, particularly Miranda. At a young age, he already displays an unreal amount of talent, and his singing especially shines throughout the production.
Galyana Castillo as Deb, Walter Hobbs’ secretary, will keep you laughing throughout the whole show is. She is an exceptional actress and her hard work on her character is evident.
This show makes for a special night out for the whole family. You will learn a wonderful lesson about love, growth and acceptance and leave with a smile on your face.
Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Dec. 5-6, 2018; 8 p.m. Dec. 7, ; 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. Dec. 8; and 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Dec. 9 at the Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC), 123 Vivian St., Durham. Tickets can be purchased at all Ticketmaster outlets, 800-745-3000 or www.ticketmaster.com.

Hollyann Gardner is a high school junior at Alamance Community College and a Teens & 20s writer.

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