“Elf The Musical” opens in Verona

Listen up, you Cotton-Headed Ninny Muggins! One of the greatest Christmas movies ever is being made into a musical by local performers, singers, and dancers.
Published: Dec. 1, 2022 at 11:05 AM CST|Updated: Dec. 1, 2022 at 5:36 PM CST
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VERONA, Wis. (WMTV) - Listen up, you Cotton-Headed Ninny Muggins! One of the greatest Christmas movies ever is being made into a musical by local performers, singers, and dancers.

“Elf The Musical” will debut Thursday night, December 1 with more than 70 cast members, the youngest of whom is in 5th grade. The Verona Area Community Theater (VACT) is putting on the performance at the Badger Ridge Middle School Performing Arts Center.

“We have been rehearsing for about two months now for this show and it’s a blast the whole way,” said Cal Compe, the actor and singer who plays the lead character “Buddy” the elf. “We meet three nights a week most weeks and rehearse for 3.5 hours and we do a bunch of dancing and a bunch of singing,”

Will Ferrell’s iconic character from the 2003 film is the basis for the story. The lead character is Buddy, a human raised as an elf. He grows up at the North Pole and goes on an epic journey to New York City to find his real dad and help people there capture the true spirit of Christmas.

Cast members rehearse one final time before opening night
Cast members rehearse one final time before opening night(Tim Elliott)

“It is very thrilling. I am always just so pumped with energy flowing from the character and being acting again,” added Compe.

“I am super excited for opening night tonight,” said Kenzie Merucci who plays “Jovie” in the show. “I am ready to have an audience. I just absolutely love the show and I think the audience will too,”

The first performance is scheduled for Thursday night at 7:30 pm. There’s another show on at 7:30 p.m. Friday. On Saturday, you can catch the matinee at 2 p.m. or the night show at 7:30 p.m. Sunday is your last chance to watch the show with a 2 p.m. start time.

Tickets are $15.75 for adults and $12.75 for kids and seniors. You can buy them here. The show is about 2 hours long and it’s definitely family friendly so bring the kids!

“Elf is one of my favorite movies of all time so bringing the character that Zooey Deschanel did 19 years ago to the stage has just been super, super fun,” added Merucci.

Buddy the elf may love to smile, but for Merucci, performing is her favorite.

“I love working with VACT. One of the things I really like is I can do shows with my mom. My mom is in this cast. The other thing is my best friends are here, too. I have a couple of my bridesmaids who are in the show too. I just absolutely love working with everyone here and the staff as well,” said Merucci.

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