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There are so many things I loved about “Elf the Musical,” which continues for two more weekends at Las Cruces Community Theatre (LCCT), 313 N. Main St. downtown.
It starts with Brandon Brown, whose performance as Buddy (he’s not really an elf, but more magic than reality) is another classic of Las Cruces theatre. His star continues to ascend to the absolute tip-top of the cadre of outstanding local actors.
Sage Drake is perfection as Jovie. I loved everything she did on stage, especially during her performance of “Never Fall in Love (With an Elf).”
One of favorite moments in the entire show is the duet between Waylon Yerxa (Michael Hobbs) and Shari DuMond (Emily Hobbs, Michael’s mother) in “I Believe in You.” I was sitting about 10 feet away from them and was utterly charmed and maybe even a little teary eyed, as I am now, remembering the moment.
Shari, who played Sister Mary Hubert in LCCT’s August production of “Nunsense,” gives another great performance in “Elf.” Her bit reading the Etch-a-Sketch with Buddy’s goodbye note is also one of my favorite parts of this show. It’s still making me laugh.
It’s hard to believe Waylon is only an eighth grader. He has charm and grace and stage presence; he can sing and act and dance. I hope he continues to perform on Las Cruces stages, and I can’t wait to see what he does next.
The same is true for Piper Gandy and Emma Roberts. They are both very young and gifted performers and are delightful as elves Charlie and Tiara.
Eric DuMond is the perfect Scrooge as Walter Hobbs, who is trying to find a best-selling Christmas story even as he discovers he’s living it.
Teddy Aspen Sanchez is such a great Santa Claus. He has played so many great characters at LCCT, Black Box Theatre and New Mexico State University, and now the Jolly Old Elf – and the Macy’s store manager – are now among them.
Joshua Taulbee a wonderful foil to the real thing, as he plays the fake (and drunken) Santa to perfection. I loved the bottle in the Christmas stocking!
I wish I had space to give the praise remaining cast members deserve for their performances in a wide range of roles in “Elf.” They are Eleanor Cain, Peggy Flores, Braden Gonzalez, Elijah Guerra, Astrid Johnson, Kaitlyn Nelson, Muriel Alyse Cain and Astoria Carson. Kudos to all these actors for great work acting in multiple roles as well as wonderful singing and dancing.
Kudos also to musical director Maryel Arias-Anderson, stage manager Debbie Kocab, assistant stage manager Crystal Milvo, lighting and sound designer Dan Robillard, properties manager Lennie Brown and board operator Hyde Brown.
The final star at the top of Elf’s tree goes to director Janet Beatty-Payne. The dancing scenes are highlights of this production, and that’s thanks to her choreography. Janet also designed the costumes and set.
Remaining performances of “Elf the Musical” are 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Dec. 9-10 and 16-17, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4, 11 and 18. Tickets are $17 for adults, $14 for seniors, students and military and $10 for children. For tickets and more information, visit www.lcctnm.org. Call 575-523-1200.