Cal U Theatre closes 2017 season with ‘The Happy Elf’


Jeromy Mackey, Staff Writer

The Cal U Department of Music and Theatre will be presenting The Happy Elf for the second year in a row. The show will run from December 7th to December 10th, playing at 7 PM on the 7-9, and playing at 2 PM on the 9th and the 10th.

The show’s music, lyrics, and story were conceived based upon a song entitled “The Happy Elf” written by famous pop-jazz musician, Harry Connick Jr. The show focuses on Eubie, played by Ryan Johnson ’17, an energetic, bubbly, ambitious elf working in Santa’s workshop. His ambition makes him an enemy in toy shop foreman Norbert, played by Mark Barrett ’18.

When Norbert has Eubie moved to the “Naughty and Nice” Department, Eubie realizes that in one town, Bluesville, every kid and adult is on the naughty list. He takes it upon himself to visit Bluesville, and introduce the happiness of Christmas that makes everyone “nice.” He meets Molly, the daughter of Bluesville’s mayor played by community member Emily Bittner, and they each teach other important lessons about happiness and hardship.

Other members of the cast include Cal U alumnus Nicholas Franczak ‘17 as the Mayor and Santa, Jeshua Myers ’19 as Hamm, Kitty Hoffman ’18, as Gurt, Ally Grodz as “Little Norbert,” Alexis Hawk ‘18 as Mrs. Claus, Erin Stump ’19 as the Coppa, and Connor Vaccari as Curtis. In addition, there is an energetic ensemble of students and community members who infuse the show with the energy and spirit of the holiday season.

Eubie and his antics are an enjoyable for journey for the entire family, especially if you have a connection to the community. Each year at Cal U the Theatre Department puts on a holiday show with auditions open to Cal U students and any local community members. The community involvement, and the opportunity to do the same shows allows for an enjoyable theatre tradition for any audience member.

I was able to ask Kayla Grimm ’18, who plays Eubie’s love interest Gilda for the second year in the row, “What about the show makes you excited to do it again for the second year?”

“Well, I am excited because being in the same role, I get to interact with different people who aren’t in the same role, so the character responses and things I do on stage are completely different. I feed off of the new people, and I also love to work with the community and all of the talent they provide. We are all trying to spread the Christmas spirit to the audience and it is a great feeling”

So, if you saw it last year or maybe you are thinking about going this year, The Happy Elf is an incredible production for anyone who enjoys the holiday season. Tickets are $.50 with a Cal U ID, $5 for children under the age of thirteen, and $12 for adults.