TUPELO • Brady Bramlett isn’t precisely your common elf.
From the second the 6-foot-4 Bramlett takes the Lyric Theatre stage in his Massive and Tall elf outfit, he transforms into Buddy – the lovable and harmless human who outgrew the elves in Santa’s workshop on the North Pole. As soon as Buddy realizes who he’s, he sings and dances his strategy to New York Metropolis to search out his actual father.
Bramlett is joined by a forged of actors, singers and dancers who give a barely totally different look and sound to a contemporary Christmas basic. Collectively they’ll current “Elf the Musical,” Tupelo Group Theatre’s vacation providing this season.
The musical “Elf” relies on the favored film of the identical identify starring Will Ferrell.
“The music is totally different. However aside from that, it’s the identical premise, the identical plot,” mentioned Renee Baldwin, who’s directing the “Elf” musical. “It’s acquired a couple of twists that can maintain all people . There are quite a lot of the gags you’ll acknowledge and hopefully get a chuckle or two from them.”
Due to restricted seating in Lyric as a consequence of COVID-19 restrictions and advance curiosity within the manufacturing, TCT has scheduled 5 “Elf” night performances on Nov. 30, Dec. 1 and Dec. 3-5, along with a 2 p.m. matinee present on Dec. 5. All night exhibits begin at 7:30 p.m.
Lots of the “Elf” film characters are within the musical. Buddy units out to search out his actual father, youngsters’s e-book writer Walter Hobbs (performed by Jeff Houin). Within the course of, he meets Walter’s spouse (Kristy Riley) and their son (Carter Smith), who doesn’t imagine in Santa Claus. Buddy is decided to win over his household and assist New York Metropolis bear in mind the true that means of Christmas.
Buddy additionally meets Jovie (Julie Grisham), an unenthusiastic retailer employee who turns into his love curiosity, and others who assist him deal with life within the large metropolis. Zach Bragg does double obligation as Santa Claus and the Macy’s retailer supervisor. Precept characters additionally embody Deb (Jennifer Cummings), Ms. Greenway (Maddie Ludt), Matthews (Bobby Geno) and Chadwick (Emily Sanford).
Rounding out the forged are eight ensemble actors and 9 featured dancers who play a range a roles together with elves, workplace staff and faux Santas.
Bramlett, an Oxford resident who has carried out in music and theater productions at Ole Miss, is making his TCT debut. He mentioned he heard in regards to the Buddy function from Suzanne Oakley, a veteran TCT performer and director.
“She mentioned they had been doing ‘Elf’ and I might actually get pleasure from it,” he mentioned. “She informed me in regards to the auditions. I informed her, ‘You already know, I feel that might be enjoyable’. When this chance popped up, I wanted to do one thing inventive on the planet we’re in. So, it is a good escape.”
The music, Bramlett mentioned, provides extra to the story than what’s seen within the film.
“The numbers are a lot enjoyable they usually’re so energetic, particularly the songs Buddy sings,” he mentioned. “It offers you extra of a glimpse into his character and exhibits you the transformation how he alters from being so elfy and harmless firstly, however because the present progresses you see him develop up.”
The forged, Baldwin mentioned, has had solely about three weeks of rehearsal time on the Lyric stage following TCT’s delayed season opener of “Little Store of Horrors.” She mentioned the forged is a superb mix of ages and performing expertise from numerous elements of the area.
“We’ve got confronted a time crunch that may be very seldom seen so far as the forged coming collectively,” she mentioned. “They’ve been so superb.”
Riley, a Fulton resident, can also be making her TCT debut. Her earlier theater expertise contains productions in Meridian and Philadelphia.
“COVID has taken quite a lot of issues from us, however one of many presents it’s given us is the chance to do some new issues,” she mentioned. “I’ve the chance to do that. … I used to be drawn to this present particularly, the message and the music. It’s lighthearted, it’s humorous. The music is so partaking. As quickly as I noticed they had been having auditions, I needed to throw my hat into the ring.”
The manufacturing, Baldwin mentioned, has been aided by Tupelo’s Jamey Grisham, a cruise ship entertainer who choreographed “Elf.”
“He and I met for weeks, hours upon hours, going via each scene,” she mentioned. “He has choreographed not solely the singing but in addition the transitions. He’s simply good.”
Tickets are $25 for grownup and $10 for college kids and youthful. Name (662) 844-1942 to order tickets or for extra info. TCT continues to make use of the pod seating setup, which separates teams of individuals to make sure social distancing.
Baldwin mentioned she hopes “Elf” can deliver pleasure to anybody who could also be struggling in a season wrecked by the pandemic.
“These are loopy instances we’re dwelling in proper now, and this world must be reminded that smiling and laughing and having a very good time are necessary issues to do,” she mentioned. “This present is about self-discovery, it’s about laughter, it’s about believing, and what higher messages can individuals have at present than that.
“My purpose as director of this present,” Baldwin provides, “is that for individuals to go away right here happier than they got here in.”