Carteret Community Theatre is bringing a bit of the North Pole’s cheer to Carteret County with its latest production.
“Elf Jr. The Musical” will be performed at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8, 7 p.m. Dec. 13-14 and 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15 at Joslyn Hall on the campus of Carteret Community College in Morehead City.
Tickets can be purchased online at carteretcommunitytheatre.com or by calling 252-726-1501.
Many people may be familiar with Buddy The Elf from the movie starring Will Ferrell, and the musical version based on the holiday film follows the same storyline, with added songs and dances.
In the production, Buddy, an orphan, crawls into Santa’s bag as a baby and is raised by elves at the North Pole. When Buddy learns he is human, he journeys to New York City to find his birth father.
Members of the cast have enjoyed bringing the production to the stage and said the differences between the movie and the play were fun to bring to life.
“It is a more elaborate and spontaneous take on it (the film),” show choreographer Marisa Lewicki said. “You can see how some characters break out into dance, and it really adds character to the show.”
Marisa said the show features 11 songs and each song had its own choreographed number.
Sophie Dixon, who plays Jovie, said developing her character was an entertaining endeavor.
“It’s a lot of fun,” she said. “Jovie is a lot like me…she’s very sarcastic. (Throughout the show) Jovie has a change of heart and it’s fun to have such a dynamic character come to life.”
Josh Dunn, who plays Buddy The Elf, had similar thoughts on shaping his role.
“He’s so crazy and happy all the time,” Josh said. “It’s so fun to be able to do that.”
Though he has enjoyed playing Buddy, he said there are some challenges portraying his character.
“All the screaming. He screams all the time,” Josh said when asked what the hardest part of his role was. He also said it was hard staying positive throughout the show.
“He’s so positive about everything,” he said. “His dad left him, and he is still so positive.”
Rehearsals for the show started in early September, and the cast and crew have been meeting three times a week. During that time, the cast has grown close and, according to cast members, that makes the show more special.
“I’ve grown really close to everyone,” Josh said.
“It’s amazing how tight-knit this cast is and how well we all work together,” she said.
Since the show is a junior version, the cast is made up of children ranging in ages from 4 to 17.
Christine Leary, cast producer, said working with a young cast can be challenging, but it’s worth it.
“Rehearsals are more chaotic, but we can see the outcome,” she said. “It’s going to be so cute, so adorable. It has put me in the Christmas spirit so much earlier.”
Rehearsals are being held at First United Methodist Church in Morehead City while the theater’s brick and mortar building is undergoing repairs from Hurricane Florence, which significantly damaged the structure in September 2018.
Ms. Leary said that has been the biggest challenge while preparing for the show.
“That has been the biggest struggle and will continue to be for the theater,” she said. “It’s been so much harder because we are not in our building.”
Despite the challenges, Ms. Leary said everyone has been working together to create the best production possible.
“It takes a whole family to make all this come together,” she said. “It’s wonderful to see that all come together.”
Listed is the cast and crew of “Elf Jr. the Musical.”
• Buddy The Elf: Josh Dunn
• Walter Hobbs: Gabe Mayo
• Emily Hobbs: Madi Duke
• Michael Hobbs: Noah Whitley
• Jovie: Sophie Dixon
• Santa: Ellis Mayo
• Fake Santa: Zander Mayo
• Mrs. Greenway: Grace Lakin
• Store Manager: Connor Eggleston
• Deb, secretary: McKinley Schoden
• Charlotte, reporter: Rachel Vangelist
• Charlie, elf: Georgia Long
• Shawn, elf: Jack Wagaman
• Chadwick, NYC: Avery Stroud
• Matthews, NYC: Abby Andrews
• Sarah: Cydney Fulcher
• Santa’s helper: Ashley Hall
• Sam: Abigail Southern
• Emma VanBrockin: Adeline Magee
• Darlene Lambert: Makayla Reed
• NYC saleswoman: Annabella Botta
• Soloist/elf: Brody Willis
• Elf No. 1: Oliver Joyner
• Elf No. 2: Zoe Maia
• Elf No. 3: Saylor Cottrell
• Elf No. 4: Caroline Fulcher
• Elf No. 5: Avery Maia
• Elf ensemble: Arabella Taylor, Charli Fulcher, Charlotte Eggleston, Teri Dilallo, Tatiana Medina Bex, Makinsley Parker, Chloe Suralik and Abigail Dickinson
• NYC ensemble: Gavin Mayo, Thomas Garner, Isabella Mennella, Tori Washington, Natalie Chapman, Anna Sherman and Caleb Montgomery.
• Director: Katie Dixon
• Assistant Director: Leah Dana
• Producer: Christine Leary
• Music Director: Alice Cashwell
• Stage Manager: Tim Price
• Sound engineer: Scott Johnson
• Choreographer: Marisa Lewicki