New Castle Playhouse to finish season with production of "Elf the Musical"

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The New Castle Playhouse will be finishing their season with their production this month of "Elf the Musical." Pictured, from left to right, is Allyson Hood as Jovie, Brent Rodgers as Buddy the Elf, and Brian Mann as the store manager.
The New Castle Playhouse will be finishing their season with their production this month of "Elf the Musical." Pictured, from left to right, is Allyson Hood as Jovie, Brent Rodgers as Buddy the Elf, and Brian Mann as the store manager.

NEW CASTLE — The New Castle Playhouse closes its season with "Elf the Musical."

Director Amee Boughter said that when she directed "Elf Jr." in 2018, it was her goal to direct the full stage musical with an orchestra. With a cast of 25 and a full orchestra under the direction of Tom Schaffner, Boughter has reached her goal.

"It has just come together. It is a Christmas show with comedy and a little bit of everything," she said.

Based on the 2003 film, "Elf" is heartfelt and hilarious.

Buddy the Elf, played by Rodgers, hugs Santa Claus played by Hans Kraus.
Buddy the Elf, played by Rodgers, hugs Santa Claus played by Hans Kraus.

It's the story of Buddy Hobbs, a young orphan child who mistakenly crawls into Santa's bag of gifts and is transported back to the North Pole.

After discovering the baby, Santa and his elves raise Buddy as an elf. Years later, Buddy realizes he's not an elf because of his size and his inability to make toys. Since he is really a human, Santa encourages Buddy to go to New York City and find his father, Walter Hobbs.

Rodgers (right) rehearsing with Ray Mutchler who plays Buddy's father Walter Hobbs.
Rodgers (right) rehearsing with Ray Mutchler who plays Buddy's father Walter Hobbs.

When Buddy finds Walter on the naughty list and his son, Michael, doesn't believe in Santa, he sets out on a mission to win them over and spread Christmas cheer.

"Everyone just fit into their roles. Brent Rodgers is Buddy, and he was meant to play this role. He is hilarious and fantastic," Boughter said.

When Rodgers was asked about his role as Buddy, Rodgers said: "We all have the potential to be the person that influences someone through our actions and words. We have the ability to be the positive change that makes this world a better place."

Santo Mutchler (left) plays Buddy's younger brother Michael Hobbs, while Kali Davies-Anderson plays Emily Hobbs, Walter's wife and Buddy's stepmother.
Santo Mutchler (left) plays Buddy's younger brother Michael Hobbs, while Kali Davies-Anderson plays Emily Hobbs, Walter's wife and Buddy's stepmother.

While Buddy is on a mission to understand more about himself, he brings out the best in people. By spreading cheer he opens their hearts to become more understanding and compassionate towards others.

This modern-day holiday classic is all about the true meaning of Christmas. It's perfect for the whole family and for anyone who just wants to embrace their inner elf.

"Our first priority is to keep everyone safe and well. The theater is cleaned every night and there are rules for the audience," Boughter said.

Hans Kraus as Santa
Hans Kraus as Santa

All audience members must present proof of full vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test, within 72 hours of the performance, and children under the age of 12 must show a negative COVID-19 test.

Masks will be required of all guests when bodies are in motion, in shared areas of the theatre, lobby, aisle, restrooms, etc.

Masks will be optional for fully vaccinated patrons only when seated; masks are required at all times for those who are not fully vaccinated.

Harley Allen plays Mr. Greenway
Harley Allen plays Mr. Greenway

The play will be at the New Castle Playhouse at 202 E. Long Ave. The showtimes are at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Dec. 16, 17, 18, and at 2 p.m. Sunday and Dec. 19.

Admission is $16 each for adults, $13 for seniors and full-time students, and $11 for children 12 and under.

For reservations, call (724) 654-3437 between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

For further information, call the above-listed number, visit newcastleplayhouse.org, or email office@newcastleplayhouse.org.

This article originally appeared on Ellwood City Ledger: New Castle Playhouse to present "Elf the Musical"

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