Elf – The Musical – Tacoma Musical Playhouse Review

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My wife Peg and I attended the opening night performance of “Elf – The Musical.” Before the orchestra’s downbeat for the Overture, Jon Douglas Rake stepped forward with great news: Elf – The Musical is completely sold out.

My wife Peg and I attended the opening night performance of “Elf – The Musical.”

As I studied the program I noticed that the book for the musical was written by Bob “Toledo Surprise” Martin, who wrote “The Drowsy Chaperone” a TMP favorite. Martin made his Broadway debut as “The Man-in-the-Chair,” who was played by Co-Founder and Managing Artistic Director Jon Douglas Rake in both “Chaperone” productions here in Tacoma. Both shows featured lots of tap dancing, which always wins my heart.

You might want to call the box office and get your name on the list for any cancellations:

  • Office Phone: 253-565-6867
  • Box Office Phone: 253-565-6867
  • Fax: 253-564-7863

Martin made his Broadway debut as “The Man-in-the-Chair,” who was played by Co-Founder and Managing Artistic Director Jon Douglas Rake (left) in both “Chaperone” productions here in Tacoma.

The Santa workshop of busy elves was hilarious. Nice job by the ensemble cast . . . as was their tap dancing sequences.

Cameron Waters as Buddy the Elf, carried the show. This is not his first performance at TMP, so many people recognized him. We know him from CenterStage in Federal Way where he played in “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” and “Rapunzel: A Tangled Panto.” He has a nice smile and makes the impossible seem real and plausible.

Cameron Waters as Buddy the Elf, carried the show. (Buddy under police escort!)

Andrew Fry as Buddy’s father did an excellent job as an over-worked corporate lackey.

Karen Early Evans as Buddy’s step mom and Howy Howard as Buddy’s little brother were a nice combination singing together. Howy had a nice voice especially considering he is only eleven years old.

Brittany D. Henderson played Deb, Buddy’s lover interest. She has a BA in Theatre Arts from the University of Puget Sound (U.P.S. is where Peg and I met so we have a soft spot for fellow Loggers).

Howy had a nice voice especially considering he is only eleven. (Howy on the left and Buddy on the right.)

John Miller as Greenway, Buddy’s father’s taskmaster, has a nice voice. One of his favorite roles is Nathan Detroit in “Guys and Dolls.” I would like to see him perform in that role so we could enjoy his voice even more.

Big production numbers featuring happy actors and dancers are a major joy at Tacoma Musical Playhouse!

Big production numbers featuring happy actors and dancers are a major joy at Tacoma Musical Playhouse!

Interesting notes: TMP used slides to depict cityscapes, and projected falling snow as well as snow drifts and mounts of the North Pole. I also liked the animated huge animation of a message on an Etch A Sketch. In the lobby, while you wait to enter the theatre before Act One and before Act Two, TMP mas menus from three of their restaurant sponsors: Cooks Tavern, Joeseppi’s, and Pine Cone Café. I didn’t see menus for Fuzion Café nor Outback, but then the lobby was so crowded I couldn’t actually get close to the other menus, either.

TMP has other alternatives for family December entertainment:

SING-ALONG WITH SANTA

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. That means it’s time for TMP’s annual Sing-Along with Santa. This event will include a sing-along of favorite holiday carols as well as a special story told by St. Nick himself! After the sing-along, children will be able to meet Santa and tell him their holiday wishes. Make sure you bring a camera to preserve these holiday memories.
Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019

THE BIG BAND CHRISTMAS

Celebrate the holiday season Big Band style with one of TMP’s much-anticipated annual traditions. The Swing Reunion Orchestra, founded and under the direction of Don Miller, offers a swinging performance of holiday music. This 18-piece big band can play! You’ll hear traditional standards and wonderful Christmas music from Ella Fitzgerald, Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Chick Webb, Count Basie, Les Brown, and all the other stars of swing music. SRO includes vocalist Melanie Vail, and Master of Ceremony Paige Hansen. Come celebrate with TMP during “the most wonderful time of the year.”

A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS
By CHARLES M SCHULZ

Based on the television special by BILL MELENDEZ and LEE MENDELSON
Stage adaptation by ERIC SCHAEFFER

CampTMP’s Honor Program presents the Emmy award-winning 1965 CBS special, A Charlie Brown Christmas. Tis the season to celebrate everyone’s favorite Peanuts pals as they dig past the commercialized gimmicks of presents and decorations to rediscover the true meaning of Christmas. Through a pageant and a spindly tree, Charlie Brown and friends bring the holiday spirit back to life for families once again! And for Charlie Brown, it was truly the merriest Christmas ever.

Tickets are still available for these three productions – tix6.centerstageticketing.com/sites/tacomamusicalplayhouse/

Up next is “Beehive – The 60s Musical.” You might consider buying your tickets now. – tmp.org/

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