Jokes for adults and Santa in a tracksuit: “Elf” entertains all ages


Photo courtesy of Mr. Maniglia

Senior Aiden Holmes as Buddy and senior Kevin Turkheimer as Santa in “Elf”

Tra'Sean Nichols, Assistant Editor, Arts & Culture

RV debuted its highly anticipated winter musical, and in theme with the festive season, the RV Dramatics program put on a production of “Elf: The Musical.”

The musical starred senior Aidan Holmes as the loveable Buddy the Elf, supported by a talented cast including Liz Ford, James Humphery, Joelle Darragh, JT Mozes, Lyndsey Fynsen, Rosie Garcia, Nate Monroe, Kevin Turkheimer and a number of talented ensemble members and stage production crew members. 

The story follows Buddy the Elf as he navigates through life after finding out the shocking truth, that he isn’t an elf but a human. The chaotic goose chase for Buddy to find his true family leads him on an adventure filled with Christmas joy, love and most importantly singing. The happy elf sings an array of jolly-filled songs getting the audience in a Christmas mood. 

The musical wasn’t just filled with jolly and happiness, but very emotionally packed scenes as well. When Ford center stage belted out the ending to “Never Fall in Love With an Elf” the emotions encapsulated by her voice moved the audience, showcased by the raging applause in the theater. 

Senior Kevin Turkheimer, who played Santa in the show, said his favorite musical number is “the opening number because it sets the tone for the entire show, and it’s [his] first song.” There is nothing better than seeing Santa sing around the stage in a tracksuit to set the tone of the musical.

I believe that “Elf” was a fun musical to watch.  It had a more whimsical aspect compared to recent musicals done by including but not limited to “Pippin,” “The Addams Family” and “Chicago” but that did not take away from the watching experience but rather added to it. 

Senior Joelle Darrah, who played Emily Hobbs, stated, “I couldn’t imagine doing a more fun show and especially with the people I love, it’s a good way to end off my musical career.” 

The settled adult geared jokes in the musical make up for the more playful tone of the story. Along with the funny lines, the visuals were amazing. The snow scene in the musicals filled everyone’s eyes in the theater with joy. It was beyond magical. 

I asked chemistry teacher and the show’s producer, Evan Synder (who is also an RV alum) to give his opinion on his unique viewing standpoint on Elf, comparing the musical to ones done in RV not so distant past. 

“Well, it was definitely a different experience considering I was on the production side for ‘Elf,’” he said. “When I was a student here I was an actor, but I loved being behind the scenes running the show making sure everything was in order, and my experience with red devil dramatics as a whole is always incredible.”

To the surprise of no one, the Red Devil Dramatics Department is still killing it after all these years. 

The production of “Elf” was a good choice for the musical this year. Taking a story that most know and putting it to the stage with fun songs, and stunning visuals was brilliant on the producer’s part.  The actors were incredible in their acting, dancing, and singing.  They were able to convey so much emotion through a silly story.  The stage crew behind the scenes also deserves so much recognition along with the student-performed pit members. Overall “Elf” was amazing this year, and I can not wait to see what Red Devil Dramatics has in store for us next year.