RV’s “Elf” is whimsical and loaded with talent


Photo courtesy of Mr. Maniglia

Holmes and the cast of “Elf”

William Pedrick, Cappies Reviewer

The Cappies is a writing and awards program that trains high school theatre and journalism students to be expert writers, critical thinkers, and leaders. Student critics vie to be published in local media outlets by attending productions at other schools and writing critical reviews.

The following Cappies review was completed by William Pedrick of Clayton High School.


As the Christmas season arrives, you’d have to be a cotton-headed ninnymuggins not to see Rancocas Valley High School’s production of “Elf: the Musical”!

The 2003 Christmas classic, “Elf,” starring Will Ferrell as the title character, was adapted into a Broadway musical in 2010. With the score by Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin and the book adapted from the film by Bob Martin and Thomas Meehan, “Elf the Musical” was later on tour in 2012 and on the West End in 2015. The show follows the whimsical and joyous Buddy the Elf who lives in the North Pole until he realizes . . . he’s a human! Buddy ventures off to New York to meet his real father. However, his father, Walter Hobbs, does not share Buddy’s love of Christmas. Buddy tries to connect with his father, meet his new family, ask out the most beautiful girl, and spread Christmas cheer all the way through.

RV’s production of “Elf “has been in the works since 2020. The show brought everyone into a Christmas spirit, right in time for the holidays. While all of the songs were memorable, “Nobody Cares About Santa Claus” was a favorite. The fake Santas really brought up the energy for the start of Act II, and it carried throughout the rest of the show. Overall, it was an amazing show.

And speaking of energy, Buddy (senior Aidan Holmes) was full of energy, whimsy and a delightful silliness through it all. Having the most stage time and plenty of musical numbers can visibly tire some actors out, but this was not the case for Holmes! And while Jovie (Elizabeth Ford) didn’t have as many numbers, her exceptional voice made up for it quite enough.

The supporting cast and ensemble had their memorable moments too. Walter Hobbs (James Humphreys) was a phenomenal contrast to Buddy’s joy. Emily (Joelle Darragh) and Michael Hobbs (JT Mozes) harmonized well in their numbers. The manager of Macy’s (Rosalena Garcia), while only in a few scenes, was very memorable in her role. The humorous Santa Claus (Kevin Turkheimer) was a great narrator with clever quips to go with. The ensemble was mostly in sync and was full of life in its background acting. With that in mind, the whole cast was enjoyable to watch.

The technical aspects of Elf really brought the show together. Each of the intricate sets were built by the students. Some of the sets included an elevator with functioning doors and an iceberg that melted as Buddy arrived in New York. The lighting was immaculate and added so much to the production. The crew was mostly on point, with smooth scene changes and relative invisibility. The costumes were bright and colorful and complimented the elves wonderfully.

As one can see, Elf was a fun, festive show that excelled at bringing Christmas spirit. To quote Buddy, “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!”