Paper Mill Playhouse’s casting is set for its holiday musical, Elf. Based on the 2003 film starring Will Ferrell, Elf has a book by Thomas Meehan and Bob Martin, music by Matthew Sklar and lyrics by Chad Beguelin. Elf will be directed by Eric Ankrim and choreographed by Josh Rhodes. Elf will run eight times a week at the Millburn, New Jersey, theater from November 26, 2014, through January 4, 2015. The official press opening night is Sunday, November 30, at 7:00pm.
Based on the holiday film starring Will Ferrell, Elf is the fantastical holiday musical for the entire family! This is the hilarious and joyous tale of Buddy, an orphan who is mistakenly transported to the North Pole and raised by Santa’s elves. Now, as a grownup, he embarks on a journey to discover his true identity. It’s a holiday treat for the entire family.
Elf will be performed at Paper Mill Playhouse eight times a week, Wednesday through Sunday. Performance schedule: Wednesday at 7:00pm, Thursday at 1:30pm and 7:00pm, Friday at 7:00pm, Saturday at 1:30pm and 7:00pm and Sunday at 1:30pm and 7:00pm. Check Paper Mill Playhouse’s website for special holiday week schedules. Tickets are on sale now and range from $28 to $99. Tickets may be purchased by calling 973.376.4343, at the Paper Mill Playhouse Box Office at 22 Brookside Drive in Millburn, or online at www.PaperMill.org. Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express accepted. Groups of 10 or more can receive up to a 40% discount on tickets and should call 973.315.1680. College students can order $20 rush tickets over the phone or in person at the Paper Mill Playhouse Box Office on the day of the performance.
“There is no better way to celebrate the holidays than a trip to Paper Mill Playhouse to experience this heartwarming and hilarious musical about everyone’s favorite elf, Buddy,” commented Mark S. Hoebee, Producing Artistic Director for the Millburn theater. “Bring your entire family together to see the New Jersey premiere of this holiday treat.”
Elf features a cast of Broadway veterans and Paper Mill Playhouse favorites. James Moye (Buddy), a North Bergen resident, appeared in the Broadway companies of Bullets Over Broadway, Million Dollar Quartet, Ragtime, A Tale of Two Cities, The Full Monty and Urinetown. Moye’s television credits include The Onion News Network, Law and Order: Criminal Intent, The Today Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live! and more. Kate Fahrner (Jovie), a resident of Maplewood, was seen in the Broadway and touring productions of Wicked. Fahrer was also seen in off-Broadway productions of Under My Skin and Sarah, Plain and Tall. Paul C. Vogt (Santa) returns to Paper Mill Playhouse, where he last appeared as Pseudolus in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. Vogt is known for his roles on MADtv and NBC’s The Rerun Show. On Broadway, Vogt was seen in Chicago and Hairspray.
Heidi Blickenstaff (Emily Hobbs) was last seen on Broadway as Alice Beineke in The Addams Family. Blickenstaff’s other Broadway credits include [title of show], The Little Mermaid and The Full Monty. Robert Cuccioli (Walter Hobbs) returns to Paper Mill for his thirteenth production. On Broadway, Cuccioli was seen in Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, Les Misérables and Jekyll & Hyde. Jake Faragalli (Michael), a south Jersey resident, appeared off-Broadway in Julie Taymor’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and was seen in regional productions of Oliver!, Mulan, Willy Wonka, To Kill a Mockingbird and Father of the Bride.
Cleve Asbury (Mr. Greenway), a Bloomfield resident, was featured as Mr. Ovington in the recent Broadway revival of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. Asbury was also seen on Broadway in Chita Rivera: The Dancers Life, Annie Get Your Gun, Jerome Robbins’ Broadway, Me and My Girl and others. Jessica Sheridan (Deb) returns to Paper Mill, where she appeared in Oliver! and Thoroughly Modern Millie. Sheridan’s Broadway credits include Sister Act, Follies, Mary Poppins and Les Misérables. DeMone (Macy’s Manager) performed in productions of Ragtime, Miss Saigon, Rent, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Great MacDaddy, Black Nativity Now and Balls: The Musical.
Rounding out the ensemble are: Sydney Brenton (Short Hills, NJ), Stephanie Cain, Alicia Charles, Brittany Conigatti, Michael Di Liberto, Madge Dietrich, Michael Fatica, Michael Coale Grey (Union, NJ), Anna McCarthy (Madison, NJ), Gillian Munsayac, Patrick O’Neill, Heather Parcells, Jody Reynard, Chris Richards, Justin Schuman, Sam Seferian and Laura Smith.
Eric Ankrim (Director) is a Seattle-based director and actor who previously directed Elf at the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle, WA. Ankrim also directed the Seattle premieres of In the Heights, Spring Awakening, Avenue Q and Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, which he adapted for the stage. As an actor, Ankrim understudied Zachary Levi in Broadway’s First Date, in a role he originated in Seattle.
Josh Rhodes (Choreographer) received a 2013 Drama Desk Award nomination for best choreography for Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella. Also on Broadway, Rhodes provided the musical staging for First Date and served as the Associate Choreographer on The Drowsy Chaperone, and he choreographed Company with the New York Philharmonic starring Neil Patrick Harris and Patti LuPone for PBS.
Dominick Amendum (Music Director) has, for the past eight years, served as Associate Music Supervisor for the international megahit Wicked, having also conducted Wicked’s Broadway, Los Angeles and first national touring companies. In New York City, Amendum also worked on First Date, Heathers and The Blue Flower. Amendum worked on recordings with artists such as Dolly Parton, Marvin Hamlisch, and Stephen Schwartz.
Thomas Meehan (Book) received the Tony Award for writing the book of Annie, his first Broadway show, as well as for cowriting the books for The Producers and Hairspray. He also wrote the books for the musicals Rocky, Chaplin, Young Frankenstein, I Remember Mama, Annie Warbucks and more. He is a longtime contributor of humor to The New Yorker, an Emmy Award–winning writer of television comedy, and a collaborator on screenplays including Spaceballs and To Be or Not to Be.
Bob Martin (Book) has worked as an actor and writer in Canadian theater, film and television for three decades. He co-created and starred in The Drowsy Chaperone, which won him the 2006 Tony Award and Drama Desk Award for best book, the Theatre World Award, and a Tony nomination for best actor. He is the co-creator of the TV show Slings & Arrows and also has written, produced, and appeared in Michael: Tuesdays & Thursdays, Puppets Who Kill, Sensitive Skin and others.
Matthew Sklar (Music) wrote the music for The Wedding Singer, which garnered nominations for the Tony Award for best score and the Drama Desk Award for outstanding music. Sklar’s other original musicals include The Rhythm Club, Judas & Me and Wicked City. Sklar served as pianist, conductor and/or arranger for more than a dozen Broadway productions, including Shrek, Nine, 42nd Street, Titanic, Miss Saigon, Les Misérables and Caroline, or Change.
Chad Beguelin (Lyrics) most recently penned the book and additional lyrics for Disney’s Aladdin on Broadway, earning Tony Award nominations for best book and best score. He was nominated in the same categories in 2006 for his work on The Wedding Singer. His play Harbor premiered Off Broadway last season at Primary Stages. He also wrote the book and lyrics for Judas & Me, The Rhythm Club and Wicked City.