There was plenty of excitement at Montgomery College on Saturday, November 13th when I arrived to interview Harry Connick, Jr. before the press opening of The Happy Elf.
Harry Connick Jr. was very grateful that Adventure Theatre and Montgomery College were co-producing this first full production of his new children’s musical. Plenty of Broadway talent eagerly joined the project: Tony Award winning director John Rando (Urinetown, The Musical), set design by Beowulf Boritt, who has designed over 50 shows including The Toxic Avenger and The Scottsboro Boys, which recently opened at The Lyceum on Broadway, and Tony Award winner Michael Rupert (Sweet Charity) in the curmudgeon role of Norbert the elf.
What’s The Happy Elf about? “It’s a story of an elf that works in Santa’s workshop who takes who takes his enthusiasm a little bit too far. He’s extremely happy and very energetic at Christmas time and people try to slow him down a little bit, but it’s hard because of his unbridled enthusiasm…It’s about friendship and loyalty and hard work, and about change in people.”
Unlike the lush orchestration on his original song “The Happy Elf”, which you’ll hear in the background of my podcast, the musical features a cool, jazz score played by the small jazz combo. A very unusual sound for a Broadway show (it’s headed there next holiday season.) But why wait, when you can see it now at the beautiful Robert E. Parilla Performing Arts Center on the Montgomery College campus in Rockville.
Here’s Harry Connick, Jr to tell you more.
The Happy Elf runs thru Nov 28, 2010 at
The Parilla Performing Arts Center,
51 Mannakee Street, in Rockville, Md.