Cotton-headed ninny-muggins! 'Elf The Musical' returns to New York

NEW YORK -- The Christmas musical based on Will Ferrell's movie "Elf" has returned to New York for the holidays, led by a stage and TV veteran whose oldest child's first Broadway show was -- that's right -- "Elf.

See Full Article

"

Eric Petersen's 5-year-old daughter, Sophia, caught the show a few winters ago and adored it. Years later, she sat mesmerized for several hours watching her dad at a rehearsal of the show.

"My daughter loves theatre so much and so she's been going to shows well before most kids go," Petersen said. "I'm in trouble. She's totally a show kid. It's very apparent."

Petersen plays Buddy in the touring musical that plays The Theater at Madison Square Garden until Dec. 27. He's joined by a cast that includes J.B. Adams as Santa and Veronica J. Kuehn as Buddy's love interest.

"I really love playing the character," said Petersen. "I feel like I get to do so much fun stuff -- physical comedy, which is my bag, and I get to do a little bit of a love story. It's the whole package."

The musical opens in the North Pole, where Buddy learns he's not an elf but a human. It then charts his journey in search of his father in Manhattan, perking up everyone he meets.

Petersen looks nothing like Ferrell but director Sam Scalamoni said that was never a goal. "It has to be somebody who understands the comedy and the heart of the piece," he said. "Funny is great, but if there's not heart, then I don't care. Eric is such a balance of both."

The musical's story, adapted by Tony Award winners Thomas Meehan ("The Producers," "Hairspray") and Bob Martin ("The Drowsy Chaperone"), preserves many of the familiar punch lines from Ferrell's hilarious 2003 film. Yet with its big, catchy numbers, it doesn't have the feel of a show that was plucked from the screen and retrofitted for the stage.

Now-classic lines from the movie are intact, such as Buddy's PG-rated swear "cotton-headed ninny-muggins" and when he confronts a department store Santa by hissing, "You smell like beef and cheese." A new opening number -- "Happy All the Time" -- has jumped from the last Broadway version to the tour.

Petersen, who lives in Los Angeles, has carved a career in both TV and stage, earning credits on the TVLand sitcom "Kirstie" and "The Brittany Murphy Story." He was on Broadway in "Peter & The Starcatcher" and "Shrek: The Musical."

It was while starring as Shrek in the first national tour that Sophia arrived and joined him and his wife, Lisa, on the road. Petersen and his daughter soon shared a special routine: She would poke daddy on the nose and he would reciprocate.

Sophia grew comfortable having Shrek around but Petersen didn't know for a time if his little girl really knew daddy was inside all that makeup. One day while he was in full Shrek get-up, she poked him on the nose. "I was like, 'OK, you know that it's daddy under all of this stuff."'

This time on the road, there's less makeup to play Buddy, and Sophia has a baby brother, 10-month-old Miles. The whole gang will be coming into town for Christmas. After all, Sophia may need to give him some tips.



Advertisements

Latest Entertainment News

  • Lawyer: OJ Simpson is golfing a lot, staying in Las Vegas

    Entertainment CTV News
    LAS VEGAS -- O.J. Simpson is not planning to move from Nevada to Florida like he told state parole officials before he was released in October from Nevada state prison, his Las Vegas lawyer said Thursday. Source
  • Hulk Homebody: Hogan sits on the bench for WWE All-Star bash

    Entertainment CTV News
    Hulk Hogan is set to be a homebody for WWE's All-Star bash. Banished in disgrace nearly three years ago from the wrestling organization, the Hulkster is holding out hope for a reunion this year with the sports entertainment giant. Source
  • Bids for paper cup allegedly used by Elvis Presley hit US$1K

    Entertainment CTV News
    TULSA, Okla. -- A paper cup allegedly used by Elvis Presley six decades ago in Tulsa is being auctioned on eBay for more than US$1,000. North Carolina resident Wade Jones is a collector of all things Elvis. Source
  • Justin Timberlake says he's made peace with Janet Jackson

    Entertainment CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Justin Timberlake says he has made up with Janet Jackson following the infamous "wardrobe malfunction" at the Super Bowl in 2004. When asked on a Beats 1 radio interview broadcast Thursday if he and Jackson have since made peace, Timberlake said, "Absolutely. Source
  • Long before SAG Awards, statuettes start out as molten metal

    Entertainment CTV News
    BURBANK, Calif. -- Winners of the Screen Actors Guild Awards often remark on their statuettes -- their green-black appearance, their hefty weight -- but the awards start out in a decidedly different state: as molten metal. Source
  • Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o is working on a picture book

    Entertainment CTV News
    NEW YORK - Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o is working on a picture book. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers announced Thursday that Nyong'o's "Sulwe" will come out next January. According to the publisher, the Kenyan actress' debut book will be a story about "colourism," the favourable treatment given to people with lighter skin. Source
  • Dylan Farrow describes alleged assault by Woody Allen

    Entertainment CBC News
    In her first televised interview, Dylan Farrow described how Woody Allen allegedly sexually assaulted her, and called actors who work in hisĀ films 'complicit' in perpetuating a 'culture of silence.' Farrow, the adopted daughter of both Allen and Mia Farrow, appeared in a taped interview Thursday on CBS This Morning. Source
  • In TV interview, Farrow describes alleged Allen assault

    Entertainment CTV News
    NEW YORK -- In her first televised interview, Dylan Farrow described in detail Woody Allen's alleged sexual assault of her, and called actors who work in his films "complicit" in perpetuating a "culture of silence. Source
  • Police probe 3rd Kevin Spacey sex assault allegation, U.K. media report

    Entertainment CBC News
    Britain's media say police in London are investigating a third allegation of sexual assault against two-time Academy Award winning actor Kevin Spacey. The Metropolitan Police force said Thursday it had received an allegation "that the man sexually assaulted a man (Victim 3) in 2005 in Westminster. Source
  • Pharrell and N.E.R.D. to headline NBA All-Star halftime show

    Entertainment CTV News
    NEW YORK - The NBA announced Thursday that 11-time Grammy winner Pharrell and his hip-hop-rock band N.E.R.D. will headline the halftime show at the 2018 NBA All-Star game in Los Angeles next month. Fergie, who has eight Grammys, will sing "The Star-Spangled Banner" prior to tip-off. Source