The movie Elf was great but it was missing one thing: musical numbers! Edmonds’ Driftwood Players, led by director Craig Schieber, brought the show based on the beloved 2003 movie to charming life.
From the moment Santa’s elves crawled onstage and sang Happy All the Time, the audience was full of smiles. The play centers around Buddy the elf who discovers he’s not an overgrown awkward elf, he’s a human. Buddy sets off to find his birth father and to his horror, his dad Walter Hobbs is on the naughty list and does not reciprocate Buddy’s enthusiastic affection. Buddy has a series of misadventures, and a little romance, as he tries to help his new family and the whole city of New York rediscover the magic of Christmas.
There are some differences between the musical and the film that kids (or kids at heart) will enjoy spotting. Kids will also enjoy finding the interloper in one of my favorite scenes: The song Nobody Cares About Santa, performed by an ensemble of characters dressed as fake Santas dejectedly slumped in chairs, is a nod to the musical Chicago.
Speaking of the ensemble, they shone in this play. From the scene where they smiled through cutouts of an assortment of creatures as Buddy traveled from the North Pole, to the scene where they pretended to be the spinning door that Buddy gets stuck in, they sent the audience into giggle fits.
Jordan King dazzles as Buddy, and his background in dance is apparent. He had big elf shoes to fill, and he did so with charisma. He made the audience fall in love with his rendition of Buddy.
Sydney Penticuff as love interest Jovie serves as the mellow and jaded contrast to Buddy’s exuberance. Through the show, Buddy encourages her to sing, and when she finally does in the number Never Fall in Love (With an Elf), she blows it out of the water.
Walter Hobbs, played by Ben Fitch, brings Buddy’s stressed and work-obsessed dad to life. Sydney Kaser as Emily Hobbs and Calvin Stephens as Michael Hobbs sing two sweet mother-son numbers and their voices complement each other well.
Santa (Eric Hartley) acts as the narrator in this production and sets the comedic tone when he whips out the nice and naughty lists on his cell phone.
The show is sold out, but the theater is keeping a waitlist and you can find information about joining here. If you have your heart set on going, I hope Santa pulls some strings for you!
You can get tickets to the next Driftwood Players production, The Spitfire Grill here. The show is also a musical and runs from March 17 to April 9.
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Bench and Board Small Works Show
Saturdays in December
Bench and Board
610 Main St., Edmonds
Bench and Board’s Skylight Art Gallery is hosting a small works show. Stop by on Saturdays in December to meet with the featured artists. They include Bear Carpenter, Kim Parsley, Michelle Templeton, Carmel Mercado, Lynette Hensley, and Kate Rose Johnson.
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Holiday Night at the Marina
Thursday, Dec. 15, 6-8 p.m.
458 Admiral Way, Edmonds
Make your way to the Public Plaza (behind Anthony’s Restaurant) in the marina for some holiday cheer. The Port of Edmonds will hand out hot apple cider and other warm treats while local favorite band, One Love Bridge performs. Enjoy the ambiance of the decorated boats in the guest moorage and climb aboard the Puget Sound Express whale watching boat for their holiday open house. Santa will stop by from 6:30-7:30 p.m. to hand out candy canes and take pictures. Check here for the full event schedule.
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Sidekickers to perform at Lynnwood’s Peace of Mind Brewing
Friday, Dec. 16, 6 p.m.
Peace of Mind Brewing
18411 Hwy 99, Lynnwood
The Sidekickers — a vocal trio performing a mix of pop and jazz music — include Darla Kiste and Megan Jeffreys on vocals and Bill Derry on vocals and guitar. Peace of Mind Brewing is a new brewery with excellent beer, cider and beverages and a very friendly atmosphere. Check out the brewery website. You can listen to some of the band’s original music here
— By Elizabeth Murray
Elizabeth Murray is a freelance writer thankful to call Edmonds home. When she’s not busy wrangling her two kids (and husband), you can find her playing ukulele and singing with The Band LeLe.