'Elf' musical takes to the stage at last

Ma Yue
After a long delay because of the pandemic, students perform a new version of Broadway musical "Elf" at the Changjiang Theater in Huangpu District.
Ma Yue
SSI ļʱ

A young people's version of Broadway musical “Elf” was performed at the Changjiang Theater in Huangpu District. 

The show, performed in English by children aged between 3 and 13, was a delayed “final examination” for the young performers who sacrificed after-school hours for their musical training.

“Elf” is a musical based on the motion picture of the same name, with a score by Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin. It ran on Broadway in 2010.

In the story, Buddy Hobbs, an orphan, mistakenly crawls into Santa Claus' bag of gifts and is transported back to the North Pole. After discovering the baby, Santa and his elves decide to raise the child as an elf. Years later, Buddy finds out that he's actually a human being and, at Santa's prompting, heads off to New York in search of his father.

Elf musical takes to the stage at last
Ti Gong

"Elf" is performed in English by children aged between 3 and 13.

Most of the young performers were students at international schools in Shanghai who attended musical courses at Theatree, an artistic education brand owned by Zeal-Youth Culture.

Theatree said the show was due to be ready by the middle of last year. However, the pandemic delayed the schedule, and rehearsals only began four months ago.

“I have been training hard for over a year as there are a lot of lines and dancing for the role,” said Felix Qin, a primary school student who played the lead character Buddy. Qin also took part in Zeal-Youth’s “The Lion King Jr” musical in 2019, taking the role of Simba.

“Compared with 'The Lion King Jr,' I think I have grown stronger regarding musical performing techniques,” he said. “The stage experiences and the stories have taught me that as long as one tries and works hard, he will eventually be rewarded in life.”

Elf musical takes to the stage at last
Ti Gong

Felix Qin (center) plays the lead role of Buddy in "Elf."

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