Santa’s biggest fan - and biggest elf - takes to the stage at Cullman High School this weekend with the production of “Elf the Musical.” The funny, family-friendly performance features Buddy the Elf trying to find his way in a new environment and connect with his father, who is on Santa’s naughty list.
Buddy is a human accidentally transported to the North Pole as a baby and raised with the mistaken belief that he is an elf. When he learns otherwise, he goes to New York City to find his father, whom he learns is on the naughty list.
Buddy has a rough go of it at first, but eventually is able to make friends and remind everyone of the true meaning of Christmas.
Students are putting the final touches on the show this week, working out the final stage moves and rehearsing with the new image projection they’re using for the first time. “It’s something new that we’ve never done before so we’re just trying to figure it out. It’s going to be very neat,” said stage manager Olivia Wood, a junior.
Junior Devon Campbell is Buddy, a role tailor made for him. “Being Buddy is awesome,” he said. “Really, who Buddy is, is who I am.” It’s the first main lead for the student, who got his first role in eighth grade as Simba in the “Lion King.” He’s been performing ever since.
The production is the work of about 150 students who handle every aspect of the show from performing, singing and dancing to technical and back-stage responsibilities under the direction of drama teacher Wayne Cook and choir director Sarah Jane Skinner.
Senior Sam Jones plays the role of Walter, Buddy’s new-found father. A veteran of CHS and community theater productions, Jones said the appeal of “Elf” is “it’s so lighthearted compared to everything else we do.”
Cook said the choice of “Elf the Musical” for their holiday production was an easy one. “We wanted a show that has community appeal, something to draw a crowd and that we could show to kids,” he said. The play also serves as the annual fundraising event for the drama group.
There will be four public performances starting Dec. 13 at 7 p.m.; Dec. 14 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. and Dec. 16 at 7 p.m.