Will Ferrell had a breakthrough with this 2003 seasonal comedy smash. Santa Claus doles out presents at an orphanage; a wee one crawls into his sack of toys, winds up at the North Pole, and is subsequently raised as an elf. Eight zillion sight gags constitute the first act, in which a giant-sized Ferrell bangs his head into low ceilings, squats on miniature crappers, and botches even the most remedial toy-making duties. Ferrell finally discovers he’s the bastard son of James Caan, now a distant, terse Manhattan publishing-house exec. Cue plot: Elf goes to big, bad NYC; hilarity supposedly ensues. Thanks to Ferrell—so frantic, off-the-cuff, and self-aware in his ad-libs—it occasionally does. (PG) ANDREW BONAZELLI

Dec. 13-16, 7 & 9:30 p.m., 2008

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