Review: ELF THE MUSICAL at Segerstrom Center

Post written by Kyla Armstrong. Kyla attended a media preview.

ELF THE MUSICAL at Segerstrom Center for the Arts was a fun holiday treat to share with my 11-year-old son. ELF THE MUSICAL tells the hilarious tale of Buddy the Elf. As a young orphan, he crawls into Santa’s bag and ends up in the North Pole. Buddy is raised as an elf, never suspecting, in spite of his enormous size, that he is actually a human. Once his failure at toy-making force him to face the truth, he embarks on a journey to the magical New York City to find his birth father and find out who he really is.

ELF The Musical - 2016 ELF Touring Company - Photo by Jeremy Daniel
ELF The Musical – 2016 ELF Touring Company – Photo by Jeremy Daniel

The sets were well done and made you feel as if you were at the North Pole with Santa and his elves. The songs were original and catchy. We were still singing some of them the next day. If you’re a big fan of the movie, the musical follows the major plot line of the movie fairly well. It is missing some of our favorite funny movie scenes, but it does have new scenes and songs that add to its charm. There were a couple of ‘iffy’ bits that I wouldn’t call kid friendly, but luckily my 11-year-old was oblivious and didn’t catch on to the innuendos, but he did catch the 2 or 3 expletives. However, Buddy the Elf is adorable and funny and very entertaining.

ELF The Musical - Nicholas Canal and Sam Hartley from the 2016 ELF Touring Company - Photo by Jeremy Daniel
ELF The Musical – Nicholas Canal and Sam Hartley from the 2016 ELF Touring Company – Photo by Jeremy Daniel

If you’re looking for a fun holiday musical then ELF will definitely put you in the holiday spirit. The sets, music, and characters combine to make an all-around enjoyable live theater experience. There were a lot of young kids there and I think the innuendos and language went over their heads. I think as long as parents are aware that the show contains some mature content and language sprinkled in, it can be a fun family experience. ELF THE MUSICAL is at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa for it’s exclusive Orange County premiere December 20th to January 1, 2017.



Kyla Armstrong is the creator and writer of Funky PolkaDot Giraffe – a crafty lifestyle blog, where she shares fun family activities and fantastic crafts and recipes. She is mom to three spunky munchkins and enjoys reading, crafting, fabric hoarding and Diet Coke drinking.



December 20, 2016 – January 1, 2017

Segerstrom Center for the ArtsSegerstrom Hall600 Town Center DriveCosta Mesa, CA(714)




  • Tuesday – Friday at 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday at 2:00 p.m.* and 7:30 p.m.
  • Sunday at 1:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

*NOTE: The 2:00 p.m. performance on Saturday, December 31, 2016 will include audio description, open captioning and sign language interpretation.

Based on the beloved 2003 New Line Cinema hit, ELF features songs by Tony Award nominees Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin. The book is by Tony Award winners Thomas Meehan and Bob Martin. The production features direction by Sam Scalamoni and choreography by Connor Gallagher.


Variety proclaims, “ELF is happy enough for families, savvy enough for city kids and plenty smart for adults!”

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