Sunday, September 18, 2016

Elf The Musical Jr.

Santa and his elves love their jobs.   Making toys brings happiness to them.  However, things change.  Santa realizes that his elves are hard-workers, but sometimes even Santa needs a break.   Santa is feeling the stress of the upcoming holiday and needs a break.   It is two weeks before Christmas; the production lines are behind and the holiday spirit is down.
Added to that is one rather large elf, Buddy who is just getting on Santa's nerves.   Buddy is always happy, maybe just a little too much.  Unfortunately, he is also lagging behind the other elves with his toy-making duties.  So far today, he has only made eighty-five Etch-a-Sketches.
There is a reason for this.  Buddy isn't  an elf even though he lives it at the North Pole.   Buddy is human, and he is just discovering the reality of being an orphaned and accidentally falling into Santa's bag when he was a baby.
Elf Jr. is a fun, family-oriented show.  The actual performance time runs about eighty minutes, so this fast-paced production is perfect for children of all ages.
What is special about these "Jr." shows is that the oldest performers are only eighteen-years-old!  These are unquestionably extremely talented youngsters that everyone in this area should feel privileged to see before they become well-known.    Surprisingly there are forty-two performers in this particular show, all under the direction of Denise Putnam and Jerry Gray who was in charge of the music.
As with all shows, the behind-the-scenes support is phenomenal with David Podendorf in charge of the sound system, Darrin Golden with the lighting, Ann Coombs as the costume master, and Ariel Ibsen-Bauer with the inventive choreography.   The scenes, props, backstage and technical crews perfectly blended into the show.
Undoubtedly Matthew Hansen commands the stage in this role of Buddy.   He sings, acts, tap-dances and thoroughly engages the audience making everyone believe this is his real personality.  
The entire Hobbs' family were all phenomenal performers.  Nick Haats as Walter, Riley Pope as his wife Emily, and Atticus Paul Coombs Walker as the son, Michael all are great singers who I would have love to see and hear from in future shows.
Also, notable performers were Kira Watson as Jovie, Kyla Mittan as Deb, Conner Mowery as Santa and eighth-grader Grace Garrigan as the despicable Miss Greenway.
These forty-two enthralling performers unquestionably show the best of today's youth.   These are the future Tony, Oscar, and Emmy winners of tomorrow.
Elf, the Musical Jr., opens this year's Chanticleer season.  Upcoming shows are "Witness for the Prosecution" in November, and in 2017, "Steel Magnolias," a surprise musical, and "Carousel."
The show continues through this weekend on Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and at 2 p.m. on Sunday.  Prices for tickets are $20 for adults, $16 for seniors over 60 and $10 for students and children.  Tickets can be purchased through the box office by calling (712) 323-9955. show .
Why see Elf The Musical, Jr.?   Matthew Hansen is an outstanding talent that likely will be exceptional in future years since he already excels as a performer.   Nick Haats, Riley Pope, and Atticus Paul Coombs are names to know and watch as they age, mature, and grow.  You will be privileged to know that you saw these outstanding individuals.8:35 PM 9/18/2016

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