CAMBRIDGE – The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.
Actor Tim Porter will don the iconic yellow tights when he takes on the role of Buddy the Elf in the company’s highly-anticipated production of ELF: The Musical.
The show will run at the Hamilton Family Theatre Cambridge, Nov. 20 to Dec. 29.
Due to popular demand, the original end date of Dec. 22 was extended to Dec. 29.
Audiences will recognize Porter as the comical sidekick in many pantos – in Jack and the Beanstalk, Aladdin and Snow White.
This holiday season, Porter will take centre stage in the lead role of Buddy the Elf, the character made famous by Will Ferrell in the 2003 hit holiday movie.
“Through his loveable panto characters, Tim has become an audience favourite with families,” said Alex Mustakas, artistic director of Drayton Entertainment.
“He’s got just the right goofy charm and joyful spirit to fill the green shoes of Buddy the Elf. Audiences are going to love him.”
Based on the popular 2003 New Line Cinema film, ELF: The Musical follows the fish-out-of-water tale of Buddy, an infant discovered at Santa’s workshop, who is raised to adulthood by the elves.
Unaware that he is actually human, his enormous size and poor toy-making abilities make him wonder if he is actually an elf.
With Santa’s blessing, Buddy travels to New York City to find his birth father and discover his true identity.
Faced with the harsh realities that his dear old dad 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 everyone remember the true meaning of Christmas.
Comedian and community leader Neil Aitchison will trade in his familiar Mountie uniform for another iconic red suit as he takes on the role of Santa Claus.
Aitchison is beloved by audiences for his alter-ego Constable Archibald F. Inkster, a character that has appeared in several Drayton Entertainment productions including Canada 151, Sorry … I’m Canadian, Canadian Toonie, and more.
Katie Kerr makes her Drayton Entertainment debut as Jovie, the feisty Macy’s toy store elf who needs to revive her holiday spirit.
Brad Rudy is Walter Hobbs, Buddy’s real father, who is so focused on keeping his job that he has lost his connection to his family.
Robin Hutton is Buddy’s sweet and upbeat new stepmother Emily, who wants her busy husband to spend a little more time at home.
Fresh from his roles as Les in Disney’s Newsies and Benji in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, 11-year-old Thomas Winiker brings his earnest energy to the role of Walter and Emily’s smart and skeptical son Michael, who needs to reaffirm his belief in Old Saint Nick.
Gabrielle Jones is Walter’s spry secretary Deb, who has the big responsibility of keeping her boss and the whole office happy, despite the stress of the season.
George Joyce is Mr. Greenway, Walter’s cranky and controlling boss who has no time or patience for Christmas.
Ray Hogg is the hilariously harried Macy’s store manager, who’s doing everything he can to make sure all the employees stay in line while maintaining the expected holiday cheer.
This holiday spectacular will be led by director and choreographer Michael Lichtefeld.
He will be joined by music director Steve Thomas, set designer Ivan Brozic, costume designer Rachel Berchtold, lighting designer Kevin Fraser, stage manager Beth Bruck, assistant stage manager Jasmyne Leisemer and apprentice stage manager Charlotte Peters.
Drayton Entertainment is also extending the run of Sleeping Beauty: The Panto.
While originally scheduled from Nov. 27 to Dec. 22 at the St. Jacobs Country Playhouse, the run has also been extended to Dec. 29.
Based on the beloved fairy tale, Sleeping Beauty: The Panto tells the story of feisty fairies, an enchanted spinning wheel, a malevolent villainess, and a dozy princess.
When a lavish party is thrown to celebrate the birth of a princess, the exclusion of the land’s most powerful sorceress from the festivities unleashes a wrath of fury.
The vexed villainess puts a curse on the young royal – on her 18th birthday, the princess will prick her finger on a mystical spinning wheel and fall asleep for hundreds of years. Can the prince of her dreams stir her from a ceaseless slumber?
The panto adaptation of this timeless tale is written by Caroline Smith.
Regular tickets are $48 for adults; $29 for youth under 20. Tickets for select discount dates and groups of 20 or more are $39. HST applies to all ticket. They can be purchased in person at the theatres, online at www.draytonentertainment.com or by calling the box office toll free at 1-855-drayton (372-9866).