Seat Filler: Holidays 2012 NYC Theater Guide

The Advocate’s man on the New York theater scene unwraps 10 festive shows worth warming up to this Christmas and Chanukah.

BY Brandon Voss

December 06 2012 10:46 AM ET

A Christmas Story, The Musical
The 1983 holiday classic is now a crowd-pleasing musical that focuses on the ’40s-set film’s most memorable moments — the bullies, the freezing flagpole, the department store Santa, etc. — and then amps them up with flashy production numbers. Sure, a chorus line of leg lamps is hokey and pandering, but I triple-dog-dare you not to be made merry by the adorable Johnny Rabe as Ralphie and a very cute score by young songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paul.
Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, through December 30.

Elf
Regifted on Broadway after a 2010 engagement, this fitfully catchy musical is full of silly gags that only a child could appreciate — Wayne Knight’s Santa just loves his new iPad! — but it could be worse. Based on the 2003 Will Ferrell flick about an overgrown North Pole elf looking for his dad in New York, the story has a positive message for kids who may feel different, and out director-choreographer Casey Nicholaw keeps it bright and sparkly. Blink and you might miss a gay cameo.
Al Hirschfeld Theatre, through January 6.

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