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  Play Details

Elf The Musical

Cadillac Palace Theatre
151 W. Randolph Chicago

ELF is the hilarious tale of Buddy, a young orphan child who mistakenly crawls into Santa's bag of gifts and is transported back to the North Pole. Unaware that he is actually human, Buddy's enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth. With Santa's permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father, discover his true identity, and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas. This modern day Christmas classic is sure to make everyone embrace their inner ELF. The New York Times says that ELF is "SPLASHY, PEPPY, SUGAR-SPRINKLED HOLIDAY ENTERTAINMENT!" USA Today calls ELF, "ENDEARINGLY GOOFY!" Variety proclaims, "ELF is happy enough for families, savvy enough for city kids and plenty smart for adults!"

Thru - Dec 15, 2013



Price: $18-$97

Show Type: Musical

Running Time: 2hrs, 20mins; one intermission

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  Elf The Musical Reviews

Chicago Tribune - Recommended

"...Since the Equity tour is short-term — nobody wants to see "Elf" in March — it clearly was easier than usual to snag some really stellar talent, from Kevyn Morrow to Julie Kotarides to, the star of the show, Will Blum, who comes to Buddy the Elf from "The Book of Mormon" and who really nails an incredibly difficult role, mostly by building a consistently weird and annoying character and committing to it, come what may."
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Chris Jones


Chicago Sun Times - Not Recommended

"...The so-sweet-you-need-an-insulin-shot-at-intermission musicalized version of the 2003 film isn't wholly lacking in micro-twinkles of charm. But those elfin-sized moments are dwarfed by the show's facile, unoriginal story, cut-rate production values and relentlessly syrupy simple-mindedness. "Elf," it must be said, is also kind of creepy. This is, after all, the story of a 28-year-old man who behaves and thinks like an 8-year-old. Watching such a person romantically lock lips with a grownup woman? It's weird and icky, to use the technical terms."
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Catey Sullivan


Chicago Reader - Recommended

"...In contrast to the soulful, childlike quality supplied by Ferrell, Will Blum gives Buddy the sort of cloying jollity often seen on kids' TV shows. Sam Scalamoni's staging likewise employs artificial sweeteners as a substitute for true feeling whenever possible, from the supporting cast's energetic overplaying to Matthew Sklar's relentlessly peppy score. You may as well take a bath in high-fructose corn syrup."
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Zac Thompson


NewCity Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...There are good messages that emerge in Buddy’s surreal journey, lessons that definitely seek to downplay the commercial aspects of holiday exploitation, particularly of workers, as well as emphasize the importance of family and loyalty. The sets are colorful, the performances all topnotch and overall, this is a feel-good holiday show that really does make you feel good. "
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Dennis Polkow


Centerstage - Highly Recommended

"...While this story may not have the emotional impact of “It’s a Wonderful Life” or “A Christmas Carol,” it overflows with heart and humor. With a book by Thomas Meehan (“Annie”) and Bob Martin (“The Drowsy Chaperone”) and a catchy score (by “The Wedding Singer’s” Matthew Sklar, lyrics by Chad Beguelin) featuring that old-fashioned Broadway sound, this show won’t set new standards but it accomplishes exactly what it’s meant to do. It offers a charming, funny, colorful, eye-popping family holiday entertainment that every youngster will enjoy along with his parents. Will Blum is completely captivating as Buddy; Broadway veterans Larry Cahn, Julia Louise Hosack and young Noah Marlowe are spot-on as his new family, and Lindsay Nicole Chambers’ Jovie is simply captivating. Ken Clement and Laurent Giroux are sensational as Santa and the villainous Greenway. This terrific musical is the perfect holiday family entertainment."
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Colin Douglas


Time Out Chicago - Recommended

"...the musical mostly avoids disappointment, travelling in the range between benign and fairly charming. Basing their work on the 2003 movie in which Santa's most enthusiastic and overgrown elf, played by Will Ferrell, learns he's really a human orphan and goes in search of his family, book writers Thomas Meehan (The Producers, Annie) and Bob Martin (The Drowsy Chaperone) go only slightly goopier than the film in pursuit of holiday good cheer."
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Kris Vire


ShowBizChicago - Recommended

"...For the current tour the winsome Will Blum dons the green tights and creates an instant repore the audience, adults and children alike. In fact for an audience dominated by the young, there was nary an inappropriate sound throughout the theatre for the entire show. All of the major leads in this equity tour are first rate including Julia Louise Hosack as Buddy's step-mom, whose amazing alto voice is thrilling to listen to; Lindsay Nicole Chambers brings a Kathy Griffin quality to Buddy's love interest Jovie.; Larry Cahn gives a well rounded portrait of a father whose priorities have gone astray; and young Noah Marlow gives a outstanding performance as Buddy's half brother Michael."
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Michael J. Roberts


Splash Magazine - Recommended

"...The acting here is also top notch with Will Blum cast well as an eternally happy elf-man lost in the big city. Although his performance is not going to make you forget about Will Ferrell, his charm is contagious and plays well off the cynical projecting Lindsay Nicole Chambers (as Buddy's love interest Jovie). Veteran actor Larry Cahn also delivers a stand out performance as Buddy's gruff, work obsessed father Walter. Whereas other national tours feature performers straight out of college, Elf is a collection of cast members who definitely know there way around the stage."
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Noel Schecter


Chicago Now - Recommended

"...If you loved Will Ferrell in the movie ELF, you will like this musical version of the film.    Will Blum (Buddy) mimics Ferrell’s iconic role.  The story is about a human raised at the North Pole that returns to New York in his quest to find his dad.  The movie boasts the personality greats of Ferrell, Bob Newhart, and James Caan.  And even with additional star-studded supporting cast, the movie really came down to Ferrell.  The lanky comedian owned those green tights.  Although Blum delivers spritely spirit in song and dance, he can’t quite match Ferrell’s dazzling performance."
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Katy Walsh


Around The Town Chicago - Somewhat Recommended

"...It is not very often that one can transform a solid entertainment for the family from film to a live staged musical, and have it be as strong as the original. In particular one that had all the warmth and charm of "Elf", that 2003 "beloved" film that made Will Ferrell a little more special, and where Bob Newhart won the hearts of a whole new generation. The stage version, that is now on the stage at The Cadillac Palace Theatre ,as part of the Broadway In Chicago season, is a festive and cute holiday entertainment, and although the star,Will Blum is very close to Ferrell ( and possibly a little Seth Rogen and Conan Obrien mixed in) the musical version falls a little flat."
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Alan Bresloff


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