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(HOUSTON, TX)  Seemingly born from the same magic that makes Santa’s sleigh fly and brings Frosty the Snowman to life, “Elf – The Musical” possesses a certain power over theatregoers. Accessible to seasoned ticket holders and newer theater patrons alike, the new production at Houston’s Theatre Under the Stars is a non-stop delight for the senses of both young and old.

See Our Photo Gallery from “Elf – The Musical” Below!

With both spirit and gusto, the story of Buddy the Elf (Tommy J. Dose) unfolds on the Hobby Center stage as an orphan raised in Christmastown embarks on a journey to meet his birth father for the first time. But, when Buddy learns his father Walter Hobbs (Mark Jacoby) is on Santa’s naughty list, his commitment to Christmas cheer deepens in this tale of reconciliation, family and the spirit of the season.

Adapted for the stage and based on the popular New Line Cinema film starring Will Ferrell (Anchorman, Step Brothers), “Elf – The Musical” overcomes a common concern about productions based on the movies. Indeed, the show proves the stage adaptation of a popular film can surpass the original.

Dose, in fact, probably more closely embodies the spirit of Buddy the Elf than Ferrell ever could. His portrayal of the human brought up by elves was a spectacle to behold, his joyous, bountiful spirit and excitement for Christmas overflowing from the stage. You will love Dose’s high-energy performance and will cheer him on as he works to bring his family closer than any could believe possible. He’s the real deal.

The mother-daughter relationship between Cynthia Ferrer (Emily) and McKenna Marmolejo (Michelle) is so authentic, you might actually believe the two are family. Ferrer exudes a maternal warmth for Bechtel as they rely on each other in the absence of their distant husband and father. When the magic of Buddy’s arrival creeps into their own home, the result is nothing short of funny and miraculous.

Jacoby’s portrayal as Walter Hobbs is commendable, as is William Hartery‘s turn as Santa Claus, who helps narrate the production.

Recommended for general audiences. “Elf – The Musical” runs through December 22 in Sarofim Hall at the Hobby Center, 800 Bagby at Walker. Tickets are available by phone at 713-558-TUTS, online at, and at the box office. An audio described performance will be staged Sunday, Dec. 15 at 2 p.m. 

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Review: ‘Elf – The Musical’ Makes the Nice List at Theatre Under the Stars  was originally published on