A New Holiday Tradition: “The Happy Elf”

Eubie the elf, played by Clint Johnson (front center), and his elf friends Gilda and Hamm celebrate Christmas with the residents of Bluesville.

“The Happy Elf,” a musical based on the song by Harry Connick Jr., is on stage at Montgomery College’s Robert E. Parrilla Performing Arts Center now through Nov. 28.

Connick, who visited Rockville for the first time to watch the holiday show on Nov. 13, described the project as “exciting” for him and said the plan is for the show to run in New York next year so even more people can see it. The show was previously staged in Kansas City in 2007 and Milwaukee in 2008.

The production is presented by Adventure Theater and Montgomery College and stars Tony award-winning actor Michael Rupert. It is directed by Tony award-winner John Rando.

“The Happy Elf” tells the story of Eubie, a North Pole elf whose optimistic outlook is put to the test when he tries to bring Christmas joy to the sad town of Bluesville.

During an interview before the show, Connick said he relates most to the character of Eubie because he is “impulsive,” “enthusiastic,” “intense” and has “a short attention span.”

“I think there is a bit of Eubie in all of us,” Connick said.

Several Quince Orchard Park families were in the audience on Nov. 13 including Winter Walk Drive resident Carole Valis, who said she “loved” the show.

Connick answered questions from the audience after the Nov. 13 show and even sang a song with the cast to the delight of the crowd. Before and after the show, he answered questions, posed for photos and signed autographs.

Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for Montgomery College students and children under 12. Student matinee tickets are $10. For more information, call the box office at 240.567.5301 or www.montgomerycollege.edu/pac.