Connick's 'Happy Elf' Offers Holiday Fun for Kids at MLT

By Bonnijean Cooney Adams | Posted in: Entertainment

Cast members of "The Happy Elf" rehearse a scene. (Photo courtesy of McKeesport Little Theater Juniors)

If You Go:

Harry Connick Jr.’s “The Happy Elf”

Where: McKeesport Little Theater, 1614 Coursin St., McKeesport, 15132

When: Dec. 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday matinees at 2 p.m.

Tickets: $12 for adults, $7 for children 12 years and younger.  Reservations at (412) 673-1100.


Santa will be taking a break from all his duties at the North Pole to spend some more time in the old Tube City as he meets and greets patrons of all ages – and even has lunch with some of them – when McKeesport Little Theater Juniors present “The Happy Elf.”

A musical creation by Grammy Award-winning composer and lyricist Harry Connick Jr., “The Happy Elf” features Eubie, who has set his sights on becoming part of Santa’s sleigh team.

His extremely bubbly personality actually rubs some the wrong way, and he finds himself assigned to checking the naughty-or-nice lists instead.


Camden Sutek (left) and Sierra Mitchell are the mayor of Bluesville and his wife Gurt. (Photo courtesy of McKeesport Little Theater Juniors)


One Christmas Eve, when Eubie discovers that in the entire town of Bluesville not a single person is on the nice list, he decides to investigate to see what he can do to turn the tide.

“It’s a delightful holiday show that all ages – children and adults – can enjoy,” producer Jan Gerber said.

“Another reason we picked this show is that it’s not one that many theaters are doing,” she said. “It’s a fun show for the kids – lighthearted with lots of laughs. I think the little kids especially will enjoy it. The grade school boys will especially like one song, ‘The Poop Hole.’ ”

Joey Young as Eubie encounters a lot of elves and people in his quest, including Camden Sutek as the mayor of Bluesville and Sierra Mitchell as his wife Gurt.

Santa (Tony Gomez) and Mrs. Claus (Jessica Freuden) make guest appearances in the production, which runs Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays Dec. 7 through Dec. 16 at the theater along Coursin Street. Evening shows begin at 7:30. Those who arrive early can enjoy a meet-and-greet with Santa from 6:30 to 7:15, before he goes backstage.

On Sundays, the matinee begins at 2 p.m. At an additional cost of $5, with reservations required in advance, patrons can join Santa Gomez from 12:30 to 1:45 p.m. for lunch. It includes a hot dog, macaroni and cheese, fruit, a beverage and a cookie.

Of course not everyone is happy with Eubie’s quest to uncover what’s gone wrong in Bluesville, nor his timeframe to turn people from naughty to nice in just one day.

Themes include overcoming adversity, friendship, the power of positive thinking and believing in oneself – with lots of singing and dancing from a strong cast and ensemble.


Meet and Greet with Santa

Meet-and-greet with Santa prior to each Friday and Saturday show is from 6:30 to 7:15 p.m., before he has to join others in the cast onstage.

Lunch with Santa is available Sundays from 12:30 to 1:45 p.m., at a cost of $5 per person, which is in addition to the ticket for the show. Reservations for Lunch with Santa are required and can be made at the same time as ticket reservations. Lunch includes a hot dog, macaroni and cheese, fruit, cookie and a beverage.


Cast and Crew:

Eubie (Happy Elf), Joey Young; Molly (mean-girl), Nariah Washington; Kirsten (Molly's assistant), Paige Allan; Hamm (Sleigh Mechanic Elf), Donato DiMucci; Gilda (Vet Elf), Kaitlyn Majewski; Norbert (Foreman Elf), Bolivar Campusano; Little Norbert, Magdalena Koisor; Mrs. Claus, Jessica Freuden; Santa Claus, Tony Gomez; Mayor of Bluesville, Camden Sutek; Gurt (Mrs. Mayor), Sierra Mitchell

Ensemble:

Gabbi Cain, Aarison King, Lauren Maneer, Sadie Mitchell, Abigail Ross, Carly Sedlock and Autumn Tavaglione

Production Staff:

Director, Dorothy Fallows; Music Director, Lisa Harrier; Choreographer, Samantha Mitchell; Producer, Jan Gerber; Light & Sound Tech, Dylan Stramaski; Drummer, Colin McBride


Bonnijean Cooney Adams is a former The Daily News editor and can be reached at adamsclick@aol.com.


Joey Young (center) as happy elf Eubie in McKeesport Little Theater Juniors' production "The Happy Elf." (Photo courtesy McKeesport Little Theater Juniors)

Originally published December 05, 2018.

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