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live theater

Long Island’s largest year-round, professional theatrical venue, The Argyle Theatre (Mark and Dylan Perlman, Managing Partners; Evan Pappas, Artistic Director), presents the iconic holiday favorite ELF The Musical with book by Thomas Meehan & Bob Martin, music by Matthew Sklar, lyrics by Chad Beguelin and based on the New Line Cinema Film written by David Berenbaum. Performances begin Thursday, November 11th for a limited engagement through Sunday afternoon, January 2nd at The Argyle Theatre (34 West Main Street, Babylon). ELF The Musical is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International.

Directed by Evan Pappas, with choreography by Valerie Wright and music direction by Emma Weiss,the cast will feature Timothy Fraser as Buddy, Carolina Miranda as Jovia, Mark Epperson as Walter, Michelle Mallardi as Emily, Tamara Daly as Deb, Robert Anthony Jones as Santa/Mr. Greenway, Korie Lee Blossey as Store Manager, Kieran Brown and Landon Forlenza as Michael, as well as Kaitie Buckert, Melissa Goldberg, Garrison Hunt, Tre Kanaley, Molly Model, Drew Reese, Lucas Ryan, Mikaela Rada, Garret Shin, and Melissa Strain.

Mark and Dylan Perlman, Argyle Managing Partners, shared “We are thrilled to ring in the season with the holiday show of our generation: ELF The Musical.”  They went on to say, “Experience this heartwarming, holiday theatre magic that is sure to be a blast for the whole family! With our Artistic Director Evan Pappas at the helm and an absolute all-star team behind this production it is sure to be a holiday spectacular you don’t want to miss!”

Buddy, a young orphan, mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported to the North Pole. The would-be elf is raised, unaware that he is actually a human until his enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth. With Santa’s permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father and discover his true identity. Faced with the harsh realities that his father is on the naughty list and his half-brother doesn’t even believe in Santa, Buddy is determined to win over his new family and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas.

This modern-day holiday classic is sure to make everyone embrace their inner Elf. After all, the best way to spread Christmas Cheer is singing loud for all to hear!

The creative team includes Set Design by Tim Golebiewski, Costume by Jolene Richardson, Lighting Design by John Salutz, and Sound Design by Brianne Boyd.  The Technical Director is Michael Kauffman and Production Coordinator is Alison Savino. The Production Stage Manager is Craig Matthew with Assistant Stage Managers Emily Todt and Shannon Stewart. The Casting Director is Michael Cassara, CSA.

ELF The Musical is sponsored by Forerunner Technologies, Inc.

For performance schedule and tickets visit www.argyletheatre.com or call (631)230-3500. Tickets are priced from $40 – $79 Use Code: TIMES for $10 OFF*

*Discount valid off individual, premium mainstage tickets only. Not to be combined.

A scene from Broadway's 'Dear Evan Hanson'

By Daniel Dunaief

Daniel Dunaief

With my fingers crossed, I am excited about the return of shows on Broadway, which is scheduled to reopen in September.

Something magical happens when a curtain rises, taking an excited audience on a musical journey to other places and other times.

Decades ago, I attended a production of “The King and I.” While the famous Yule Brenner played the title role, I found the experience utterly meaningless.

I remember asking my mother what those small people were doing so far away from me, as we watched that production in the third balcony.

“Next time,” my mother said through gritted teeth to my father, “I’m getting the tickets.”

Sure enough, my parents took my brothers and me to “A Chorus Line.” The experience was as different as standing across the street, looking through the fog at a candy store and sitting at the counter, reading through a menu and enjoying the smell of warm waffles and ice cream and the sight of tantalizing delicacies akin to what I imagined Turkish delights from the Narnia series would taste like.

The live performance so completely captivated me that I left the auditorium humming some of the songs and hoping everything would work out for characters who came from broken homes and broken dreams. Each of the actors was taking his or her shot, hoping for approval, and a job, doing what he or she loved.

I have found numerous shows that have been as moving and as thrilling, including more modern performances, like “Dear Evan Hansen.”

The combination of sights and sounds, the emotional range from humor to tragedy and the riveting live voices that cause seats to vibrate and artwork to come alive provide a completely immersive artistic experience.

I don’t always love every moment in a show, and I don’t always understand what a director or actor is conveying, but that doesn’t stop me from trying or from appreciating the effort.

When I was in high school, I joined the pit orchestra of the musicals “The Wizard of Oz” and “West Side Story.” I far preferred the latter, with its more complicated and intricate music, although participating in each performance provided artistic highlights for my high school career.

On one of my first dates with my wife, we attended “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” starring Nathan Lane. The show, which I had seen once or twice before, was a familiar pleasure, while Lane’s periodic breaking of character and hamming up the role tickled the audience, sharing the equivalent of a modern-day wink with an appreciative crowd.

After the show, I was thrilled to find that my wife shared my love and appreciation for the Great White Way. We repeated lines that amused us, commented on the sets, and appreciated the spectacular stage presence of an acting legend who, somehow, show after show, seemed to be completely in the moment.

As we continue to emerge from a pandemic in which we discussed books we’d read and Netflix shows we’d seen, I am eagerly looking forward to returning to the cushioned seats, the brightly-colored programs, the friendly ushers, and the hard-working cast members who inspire and elevate my life with their dedication, talent and hard work.

Who knows? This year, I might even go back to dressing up for the occasion, tying a tie, finding matching dark socks, and wearing dress shoes as the lights return to live performances, the orchestra holds up its instruments, and the actors take deep breaths, preparing to serenade those lucky enough to score tickets to a transformative ride.

Theatre Three

Theatre Three, 412 Main St., Port Jefferson, has just announced the lineup for its 2021-2022 Mainstage season. Tickets are $35 adults, $28 seniors/students, $20 children. To order, please call 631-928-9100 or visit www.theatrethree.com.

‘Grease’ – Sept. 18 to Oct. 30, 2021

Grease is the word!  Since its electric Broadway debut, Grease has remained one of the world’s most popular musicals!  Funny, frank, and featur-ing the hit songs “Greased Lightnin’,” “You’re The One That I Want,” and “Summer Nights,” Grease follows the journey of Danny and Sandy, alongside the Burger Palace Boys and the Pink Ladies, as they navigate high school to the unforgettable rock n’ roll soundtrack that defined generations. Dust off your leather jackets and pull on your bobby socks, Grease will have you dancing in the aisles!  Please Note: Contains adult themes and situations.

‘A Christmas Carol’ – Nov. 13 to Dec. 26, 2021

“I will honor Christmas in my heart …” Celebrate the season with Long Island’s own holiday tradition and broadwayworld.com winner for Best Play. Follow the miser Ebenezer Scrooge on a journey that teaches him the true meaning of Christmas—past, present and future. As described by Newsday—“There could scarcely be a finer tribute to [Dickens’] legend than A CHRISTMAS CAROL at THEATRE THREE”—chosen as its Number One Holiday Theatrical Event—join us for our 36th annual production of the immortal classic in all of its thrills, music, joy, and spirit.

Ken Ludwig’s ‘Baskerville’ – A Sherlock Holmes mystery – Jan 8 to Feb. 5, 2022

The play is afoot! Comedic genius Ken Ludwig (LEND ME A TENOR; MOON OVER BUFFALO) transforms Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic The Hound of the Baskervilles into a murderously funny adventure. Sherlock Holmes is on the case. The Baskerville heirs have been dispatched one by one and, to find their ingenious killer, Holmes and Watson must brave the desolate moors before a family curse dooms its newest descendant. Watch as our intrepid investigators try to escape a dizzying web of clues, silly accents, disguises, and deceit as five actors deftly portray more than forty characters. Does a wild hellhound prowl the moors of Devonshire? Can our heroes discover the truth in time? Join the fun and see how far from elementary the truth can be.

‘The Marvelous Wonderettes’ – Feb. 19 to March 26, 2022

This blast-from-the-past musical takes you to the 1958 Springfield High School prom, where we meet Betty Jean, Cindy Lou, Missy, and Suzy, four girls with hopes and dreams as big as their crinoline skirts! As we learn about their lives and loves, the girls serenade us with over two dozen classic ‘50s and ‘60’s hits including “Lollipop,” “Dream Lover,” “Stupid Cupid,” “Wedding Bell Blues,” “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me,” “Son of a Preacher Man,” and many more. THE MARVELOUS WONDERETTES will keep you smiling in this cotton-candy colored trip down memory lane!

‘Steel Magnolias’ – April 9 to May 7, 2022

Come on down to Truvy’s Louisiana beauty shop where six strong women share their hopes and dreams.  Beginning on the day of debutante Shelby’s wedding, the play traces this eccentric and lovable cast of characters as they support each other through life’s many challenges.  Steel Magnolias is alternately hilarious and touching and—in the end—deeply revealing of the strength that binds these ladies together.  Stop by for some great laughs and unforgettable friendship.

‘Mamma Mia!’ – May 21 to June 25, 2022

ABBA’s timeless hits tell the enchanting story! On the eve of her wedding, a daughter’s quest to discover the identity of her father brings three men from her mother’s past back to the Greek island paradise they last visited twenty years ago. Featuring such chart toppers as “Knowing Me, Knowing You,” “Take a Chance on Me,” “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!,” and “Dancing Queen,” this is a trip down the aisle you’ll never forget. Get swept away with the worldwide phenomenon MAMMA MIA! Please Note: Contains adult themes and situations.