Three cheers for Elf Jnr

November 11, 2017

Jorja Dennis (Emily) and Jamison McFadden (Michael).

Harper Raverty (Jovie). Photo by Tamara Cadd

Harper Raverty (Jovie), Ruby Green (Buddy) and Ruby Oman (Macy's manager). Photo by Tamara Cadd

Ruby Green (Buddy). Photo by Tamara Cadd

Rhys Watson (Santa) and Ruby Green (Buddy). Photo by Tamara Cadd

Ruby Green (Buddy), Harper Raverty (Jovie), Britney Evans (Walter), Jorja Dennis (Emily) and Jamison McFadden (Michael). Photo by Tamara Cadd

Harper Raverty (Jovie) and Ruby Green (Buddy). Photo by Tamara Cadd

THE Christmas spirit is alive and well in Echuca-Moama.

All thanks to Echuca-Moama Theatre Company and its production of Elf The Musical Jnr.

I had the chance to watch the junior show earlier this week ahead of opening night tonight.

And all I can say is bravo.

This young cast of 40 has shown maturity beyond its years. At times I had to remind myself I was watching kids.

And these kids have spent the past five months working their butts off to entertain the community in this hilarious musical comedy.

Elf tells the story of Buddy, a young orphan who accidentally crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is taken back to the North Pole where he is raised as one of the elves.

Years later, when Buddy finds out he is a human orphan (just like Annie!), he heads to New York City in search of his father, Walter Hobbs.

But Walter isn’t exactly the ‘‘world’s greatest dad’’ Buddy had imagined — in fact he doesn’t even believe in the spirit of Christmas. And he’s on the naughty list. Determined to win over his family, as well as the beautiful Macy’s sales girl, Jovie, Buddy helps New York City remember the true meaning of Christmas.

Ruby Green, who plays Buddy, is joyful to watch. Her facial expressions were made for the stage.

And Harper Raverty, who plays Jovie, is just delightful. And what a voice.

Britney Evans is also to be commended for her portrayal as the self-centred workaholic Walter. She even cut her hair for the role. Now that’s commitment.

And you can’t miss the little elves, who are just adorable in their Christmassy costumes.

Well done to choreographers Kaitlyn Platt and Emma Favaloro and musical director Victoria Pannett for making the cast look and sound superb. Together with impressive animation, sets and costumes makes this a show to remember.

Now, the best way to spread Christmas cheer is by singing loud for all to hear. If you can’t do that, buy a ticket to the show. Because I promise you, you will be walking out of the theatre dreaming of a white Christmas.

Thanks to a little bit of Christmas magic.

■Elf The Musical Jnr will be performed at the Paramount Theatre tonight, tomorrow and Sunday and next weekend.

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