Elf Director’s Notes
ELF THE MUSICAL DIRECTOR’S NOTES
Written by Director Amber Mak
Holidays, in my family, are filled with traditions, from decorating the Christmas tree and making cookies to watching holiday films together. Elf has become one of those beloved traditions, and this year, Tim Rater and Jim Corti have once again bestowed on me the honor and challenge of bringing another favorite family film to life on stage at Paramount Theatre. I say “challenge” because, as with any well-loved film, the audience’s expectations are great.
I feel a huge responsibility to not only deliver on what people expect, but to try and find ways to surprise, delight and make the story fresh and new, as if seeing it all for the first time.
While creating the Paramount version of this story, I remembered my first viewing of the film and the pure joy and genuine laughter I shared with my family as we watched Buddy the Elf discover New York City for the first time. There is such a wonderful innocence and simple perspective that Buddy brings to a world of chaos and bitterness. He is such a great symbol and a reminder for all of us to enjoy the world around us with child-like wonderment, joy and hope. There is often so much going on in our lives that it seems impossible to live in the present without stressing about the future.
It certainly feels like the world could use a bit more of Buddy the Elf’s perspective to spread some good cheer all year round and believe in the unbelievable.
My hope, as you watch the show, is that you can share some laughs and live in the moment with your loved ones, creating some holiday memories as this incredible cast spreads some cheer by singing loud for all to hear. Happy Holidays!