PORT ANGELES — One of the most cheerful characters in recent years — Buddy the Elf, played by 17-year-old Ethan Cameron — will brighten audience’s evenings beginning tonight in Ghostlight Productions’ Young Thespians shows of “Elf The Musical Jr.”
Twenty-five student actors 7 to 18 years old from Sequim and Port Angeles will perform eight shows between tonight and Nov. 17 at the Port Angeles Community Playhouse, 1235 E. Lauridsen Blvd, Port Angeles.
Shows will be at 7:30 tonight and Saturday night and Nov. 15-16; and at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday as well as Nov. 16-17.
Tickets are $12 and can be purchased in advance at www.ghostlight- productions.com or at the door.
The play adapts a 2003 movie starring Will Ferrell, and features songs by Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin based on a book by Thomas Meehan and Bob Martin.
Director Danielle Lorentzen said the characters and plot are similar.
“It’s fairly faithful to the movie, which is great because it’s a pretty perfect movie,” she said.
For those who missed the movie, the family-friendly musical follows an orphan who crawls into Santa Claus’ gift bag and mistakenly goes to the North Pole where he is raised by elves. Unaware he’s a human through the years, Buddy learns the truth and seeks out his father in New York to reconnect and help restore his family’s Christmas spirit.
Cameron, a senior at Port Angeles High School, said he wasn’t necessarily looking to play Buddy but appreciates the character’s enthusiasm.
“Part of me is super happy all the time and this allows me to take it over the top,” Cameron said.
“Buddy’s whole purpose is to make people happier.”
Said Lorentzen, “Buddy [emits] optimism and childlike excitement. He’s so pure; there’s no selfishness in him.”
This is Cameron’s second time on stage, he said. Being the lead is “super awesome” because he wants to be out of his comfort zone.
Lorentzen takes the reins as a solo director for the first time with this show and said the young actors are doing great.
“It’s going well,” she said. “They went off book for the first time the other day and knew all their lines and blocking.”
Her previous experience leading children included last summer’s “Annie Jr.,” Ghostlight’s first Young Thespians show.
For the sake of practicality, some of the more extensive scenes and moments are removed, but Lorentzen said the humor remains and the actors have great comedic timing.
“The lines themselves are funny; they’re straight out of the movie,” she said. “I’m laughing throughout and there are some tender moments.”
Cameron said the show maintains the character moments, father-son, mother-son and all three.
He’s also excited for the music and dancing, including the song “Sparklejolly twinklejingley” and the choreography by Anna Pederson.
“I love the choreography. I don’t get to dance often,” he said.
For the show, about 20 of the actors play multiple parts, too.
“Elf The Musical Jr.” is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI).
For more information, call 360-207-0130.
Matthew Nash is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. Reach him at [email protected].