LOGAN — It appears that Santa will be making a guest appearance at the Coalfield Jamboree when The Aracoma Story performs its final show of the 2019 season, “Elf: The Musical.”
Based on the 2003 movie, “Elf” is the story of a human named Buddy (played by Charles Stephen Wallace), who was raised by elves in the North Pole but decides to embark on a journey to find his real father — Walter Hobbs (Denny Frost), a children’s book publisher in New York City.
“Getting to play Walter Hobbs in my first musical is a challenge but similar to playing Devil Anse this summer,” Frost said. “Chris Wood, who played Ran’l, also plays my nemesis, Mr. Greenway. We’re having fun facing off again. While ‘Deadly Divide’ was a drama, ‘Elf’ is a light musical comedy with choreography [by Erica O’Briant and Dawn Mills] and the joy of Christmas.”
Watching Buddy, his surrogate son, leave the North Pole in search of his biological father is no small feat for Santa (Charlie Curry).
“I’m 47 years old and raised in Holden,” Curry said. “I grew up singing at #7 Holden FWB church and acting in their church plays. I never ever thought that I would act or be singing in an actual musical. I played Bad Jim Vance in ‘Deadly Divide’ and now Santa in ‘Elf: The Musical.’ I’m excited to play Santa and hope that I am up for the challenge of filling this role.”
Buddy journeys to New York City, and a pedestrian points him in the direction of the Empire State Building, where Buddy’s father (Denny Frost) works as an editor of children’s books under the dictatorial direction of his publisher, Mr. Greenway (Chris Wood).
On his way to the Empire State Building, Buddy walks into Macy’s. He is perplexed by the faux snow and fake Santa (Griffin Frye) on exhibit. At first, the manager (Geoffrey Saunders) believes Buddy is an employee, but the manager soon learns that Buddy despises the whole arrangement because it lacks any resemblance to the North Pole or the real Santa. Meanwhile, the manager realizes that Buddy isn’t an elf, so he notifies security, who remove Buddy from the premises.
“This is my first musical, and I have a duet part and a solo,” Saunders said. “I’m very excited about this opportunity and look forward to bringing a bit of Christmas joy to our audience.”
When Buddy finally reaches the floor where his father, Walter, works, he doesn’t get the father-son greeting he’s been waiting for all his life. Like the manager, he disbelieves that Buddy is not only human but also his son.
The play is not without romance. During his journey, Buddy meets Jovie (Anne Justice) while he’s in New York. The two share a duet and fall in love.
“I’m so blessed to be part of the cast of Elf,” Justice said. “It’s a very special show that brings a message of hope and belief to the audience. I love that every time I step on stage. I get to experience how transformative just a little bit of hope can be, and even more than that, I get to share that with everyone who steps through the theater doors.”
Elf is a coming-of-age story — not only for Buddy, but for those whose lives he touches.
“It’s a pleasure to be working with director Curtis Crum and such an amazing, talented cast and crew,” said Amelia Clancy, who plays Walter’s step-wife. “It is truly a magical show that you’re not going to want to miss!”
“You’ll laugh, cry, sing, and dance!” said Maddy Akers, who plays Deb, Walter’s secretary. “I hope to see everyone there!”
Showtimes for Elf are 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6, 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13, 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15.
Tickets at the door are $15 for adults, $12 for students and seniors and $8 for children. Tickets may also be purchased at Gatti’s at Fountain Place in Logan, the Chief Logan Lodge & Conference Center one mile off US 119 between Logan and Chapmanville, Aracoma Drug in Chapmanville and the Pic-Pac in Man or by calling The Aracoma Story office at 304-752-0253. There are also group rates of 10 or 20 people.