George Wendt
(© Joseph Marzullo/WENN)
George Wendt
(© Joseph Marzullo/WENN)
Preliminary casting has been announced for the new Broadway musical Elf, based on the 2003 film that starred Will Ferrell. The production will play the Al Hirschfeld Theatre, November 2-January 2, with a newly revised opening date of November 14. Casey Nicholaw will direct and choreograph.

The cast will include Tony Award winner Beth Leavel (Emily), Tony Award nominee Mark Jacoby (Walter), Matthew Gumley (Michael), Valerie Wright (Deb), Michael McCormick (Mr. Greenway), Michael Mandell (Store Manager) and six-time Emmy Award winner George Wendt (Santa). The company will also include Timothy J. Alex, Callie Carter, Cara Cooper, Lisa Gadja, Asmeret Ghebremichael, Blake Hammond, Emily Hsu, Jenny Hill, Nancy Johnston, Marc Kessler, Matt Loehr, Lee Wilkins, and Kirsten Wyatt. Full casting, including the lead roles of Buddy and Jovie, will be announced shortly.

The musical will feature songs by Tony Award nominees Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin, with a book by Tony Award winners Thomas Meehan and Bob Martin. The creative team will include David Rockwell (sets), Gregg Barnes (costumes), Natasha Katz (lighting), Peter Hylenski (sound), and Doug Besterman (orchestrations).

Elf tells the story of Buddy, a young orphan who mistakenly crawls into Santa's bag of gifts and is transported back to the North Pole. He is raised unaware that he is actually a human, until his enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth. Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father and discover his true identity. Faced with the harsh reality that his father is on the naughty list and his step-brother doesn't even believe in Santa, Buddy is determined to win over his new family and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas.

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