Elf-The Musical

In Elf: The Musical (based on the hit 2003 Will Ferrell film), there's a moral at the show's juicy nougat core, but it's so papered over with Christmas wrap, holiday cheer, and bustling Broadway glitz that any message becomes ancillary to the unfolding extravaganza. As you'll recall from the movie, Buddy (Matt Owen) is raised as an elf after accidentally crawling into Santa's bag as an infant. Once Buddy learns he's human, Santa sets him out to find his birth dad in New York, only to discover that his Papa (Allen Fitzpatrick) doesn't believe in Santa and has no Christmas spirit or time for those who do. It's a fish-out-of-water comedy that gets much of its yuks (and there are plenty) from Buddy's naiveté and facility with all things Christmas. He meets and falls in love with an ingenue (Kendra Kassebaum) who doesn't believe in Christmas but does believe that Buddy has a heart of gold. Hilarity and hijinks ensue, abetted by a busy and tuneful score. Amid the mayhem and bombast, there's nearly as much cheese as cheer offered in this two-hour romp. (Runs near daily through Dec. 21; see 5thavenue.org for exact schedule.) KEVIN PHINNEY

Nov. 30-Dec. 21, 2012

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