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.
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.