Thursday, December 6, through Sunday, December 9
The Spotlight Theatre, 1800 Seventh Avenue, Moline IL
Boasting what the Washington Post called “fresh, off-kilter elements” and a score that “bubbles with New Orleans shuffle and sass,” the family holiday musical The Happy Elf makes its area debut at Moline's Spotlight Theatre December 6 through 9, its music and lyrics courtesy of none other than Grammy-winning and Tony-nominated music legend Harry Connick Jr.
Based on a popular animated TV special that was, in turn, based on the jazzy holiday tune that Connick composed for his 2003 album Harry for the Holidays, The Happy Elf is the yuletide tale of Eubie, the happiest elf at the North Pole. While Eubie longs to be a part of Santa's sleigh team more than anything else, he's instead stuck merely checking the naughty-or-nice lists. One Christmas Eve, however, he notices something strange regarding the small town of Bluesville: For some reason, all year, not a single person there has been nice. With a pinch of elfish magic and a magical whoosh, Eubie consequently zooms off to Bluesville. But can he turn a whole town of naughty children nice in just one day? The answer lies in Connick's delightful new stage musical, a show that Broadway World said “makes for fun holiday entertainment and memories – think Whoville meets the Island of Misfit Toys – so enjoy the ride.”
Directing The Happy Elf for the Spotlight Theatre is Becca Johnson, a cast member in the venue's recent The Hunchback of Notre Dame whose directorial credits include the musicals I Love You Because and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee for Moline's Black Box Theatre. The jolly elf Eubie is portrayed by Gary Mayfield, while the jolly old elf is played by Michael Collins, with Yvonne Siddique cast as Mrs. Claus. And with Hunchback's Ian Sodawasser narrating the tale, the rest of The Happy Elf's cast is composed of nearly two dozen additional talents: Avie Birdsell, Adrianna Blackwell, Sethe Christensen, Joei Christopherson, Michael Collins, Christianna Crosby, Madison Duling, Thom Elliot, Amelia Fischer, Marley Haley, Anna Harris, Audrey Hotle, Aaron Lord, Gage McCalester, Elli Shoemaker, Kler Soe, Christopher Tracy, Sara Tubbs, Dorothy Turner, Cydney Weitzel, and Jay Whitemore.
The Happy Elf's December 6 through 9 run will feature performances at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, admission is $20, and more information and tickets are available by calling (309)912-7647 or visiting TheSpotlightTheatreQC.com.