Elf -- Theater Review
Raiding the New Line vaults for stage musical material has so far yielded a hit in "Hairspray" and a miss in "The Wedding Singer." Where "Elf," an underpowered Broadway Christmas attraction adapted from the Will Ferrell screen comedy, falls in that commercial spectrum will depend on its holiday box-office pull. But as theatrical entertainment, it's flavorless candy.
The 2003 film struck a winning balance by offsetting its Yuletide-spirit and family-reaffirmation sentimentality with double-edged absurdist humor, much of it fueled by Ferrell's antic physical comedy. But those leavening aspects are diluted in a pedestrian show that broadens the material to be more specifically kid-friendly, rendering it innocuous in the process.
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