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Algonquin Arts Theatre presents "ELF: The Musical"

originally published: 11/05/2023

Algonquin Arts Theatre presents "ELF: The Musical"

Photos by Michael Franken

(MANASQUAN, NJ) -- Algonquin Arts Theatre presents its holiday show, Elf: The Musical from December 2 through December 17, 2023. Based on the 2003 film, Elf: The Musical is the hilarious tale of Buddy, a young orphan child who mistakenly crawls into Santa's bag of gifts and is transported back to the North Pole. Unaware that he is actually human, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father, discover his true identity, and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas. This modern day Christmas classic is sure to make everyone embrace their inner Elf.

The Elf: The Musical creative team includes; Anthony Greco, Director; Jessica O’Brien, Choreographer; Barbara Klemp, Musical Director; Lawrence “Chip” Heptig, Rehearsal Stage Managers; Rachel Krupnick, Production Stage Manager; Ashley Cusack, Scenic Designer, Roman Klima, Lighting Design; Elana Kircher, Costume Design; Gina Lupi, Prop Design and Jan Topoleski, Sound Design/Producer.

Tickets start at just $26 and may be purchased at, by calling 732-528-9211 or by visiting the Algonquin Arts Theatre box office Monday through Saturday, 10:00am-4:00pm located at 60 Abe Voorhees Drive, Manasquan, New Jersey. Elf: The Musical is sponsored by ICG next and Manasquan Elks Lodge No. 2534.

Algonquin Arts Theatre presents "ELF: The Musical"

Algonquin Arts Theatre presents "ELF: The Musical"

Algonquin Arts Theatre presents "ELF: The Musical"

Algonquin Arts Theatre presents "ELF: The Musical"

Algonquin Arts Theatre presents "ELF: The Musical"

Tickets are available for purchase online.  Algonquin Arts Theatre is located at 60 Abe Voorhees Drive in Manasquan, New Jersey.

​​​​​​​Elf: The Musical features a Book by Thomas Meehan and Bob Martin; Music by Matthew Sklar; and Lyrics by Chad Beguelin. It is based on the New Line Cinema film written by David Berenbaum. It is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI.

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The cast for Elf: The Musical includes:

EDWARD ITTE (Buddy) is thrilled to be returning to the role of Buddy in Elf the Musical. Past credits include Mary Poppins (Bert) and Beauty and the Beast (Lumiere).

BECCI TANK (Jovie) is making her Algonquin Arts Theatre Debut! Becci is a Summa Cum Laude graduate from Montclair State, receiving her BA in Theatre with a directing concentration and an MT minor. Past credits include: Wizard of Oz (Dorothy), Little Women (Meg March), Next to Normal (Natalie), Mary Poppins (Mary Poppins).

LAURIE TOOLE (Emily) is overjoyed to be back on the AAT stage. Favorite roles include A Christmas Story (Mother), Noises Off (Belinda), The Drowsy Chaperone (Drowsy), Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Narrator).

LEX FRIEDMAN (Walter) last performed on the Algonquin's stage in Avenue Q (Brian). He also appeared in Phoenix's production of School of Rock (Theo/Mr. Mooneyham). Lex performs improv multiple Saturdays each month with ComedySportz Jersey Shore.

JAX TERRY (Michael) is excited to be back on the AAT stage for the holiday production of Elf! Past credits: The Who’s Tommy (10-year-old Tommy), A Christmas Story (Flick), Sound of Music (Kurt). Jax is a 7th grader at Brielle Elementary and has been in the Drama Club’s production of Moana, Jr. (Maui) and Annie, Jr. (Alfred).

BRENDAN FLANAGAN (Santa) is overjoyed to be back in the big red suit for Elf! Brendan is reprising the role he played in the 2021 AAT production. Some previous holiday appearances include A Christmas Story (Jean Shepherd), A Christmas Carol (Mr. Fezziwig), and Miracle on 34th Street (R.H. Macy).

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LAUREN FRIEDMAN (Deb/Mrs. Claus) is thrilled to be back at the AAT! She was most recently seen in AAT’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame as a member of the congregation, and recently she appeared in The Music Man (Eulalie Shinn) at the Count Basie. When not on stage, Lauren teaches preschool and loves to bake.

JAMES MOONEY (Mr. Greenway) recently returned to NJ from CA where he lived and worked in LA for over 20 years. This is James' first show at the Algonquin and he thanks the amazing production staff and actors for making it a magical experience. He's excited to be back in the theatre world.

MARTIN CORDERO (Macy’s Manager/Ensemble) is excited to be part of ELF at the Algonquin. He recently was in Kinky BootsMan of La Mancha (The Captain of the Inquisition) and in the ensemble of A Christmas Story. He just completed his second year doing Community Theatre.

JOHN C. SHORT (Fake Santa/Ensemble) was recently seen in Hunchback (Congregation Member), Avenue Q (Trekkie Monster), Pippin (Pippin) and Hamlet (Horatio). Excited to be working with this talented cast on this show!

CAROLENA BLASUCCI (Tiara/Ensemble) is thrilled to be back for her third Algonquin production! She's currently a sophomore at Middletown High School South! Previous credits include: Beauty and The Beast (Babette), You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown (Lucy), Fame (Mabel), Frozen (Elsa), and Hello Dolly! (Young Adult Ensemble).

ARIANA CENTAMORE (Featured Ensemble) is thrilled to be back at the Algonquin for her seventh consecutive Holiday show! She has continued her love for the arts on and off the stage. You might have seen her on the Algonquin stage previously in Elf (Chadwick), West Side Story (Anybodys), or Noises Off (Poppy).

GIOVANNA CREGO (Sara/Ensemble) took a break from theatre after Covid, but is happy to be back! She is a senior at Wall High School and is a student at the Lakehouse Music Academy in Asbury Park.

JOHN B. GEKLE, JR. (Security Guard/Ensemble) is pleased and proud to mark another show at the Algonquin. He assures you he actually was in Wait Until Dark (2023). A favorite past role was Smee in Peter Pan (2017).

CHARLIE THOMAS HUGHES (Mathews/Policeman/Ensemble) is excited to be in the 2023 holiday production. He’d like to thank coach Anthony and Miss Jess for the wonderful opportunity, and his family for all their support. Charlie has been with Algonquin for a short time now featured in shows like Hello Dolly! (Ambrose) and The Sound of Music (Ensemble).

JACLYN ITTE (Chadwick/Ensemble) is honored to be joining the cast of this beautiful Christmas show alongside her brother, Edward. Her previous roles include The Sound of Music (Frau Schmidt) and Hello Dolly! (Ernestina Money).

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KATIE KAVA (Saleswoman/Ensemble) is ecstatic to be in her debut with AAT. Past roles include: Suessical (Cat in the Hat), Elf (Matthews), Fiddler (Hodel), Godspell (Lindsay), and has performed in the ensemble in Beauty/Beast, Wizard of Oz, and Matilda. She is a Level 2 actor in Howell Highs Freehold Performing Arts Center (F.P.A.C.).

ALYSSA KISELEV (Charlotte Dennon/Ensemble) is a Junior at Montclair State University and is thrilled to be part of another production of Elf at Algonquin Arts Theater. She was recently seen in The Sound of Music and Hello Dolly! Past credits include Chicago (Velma Kelly), Honk (Cat), Xanadu (Melpomene), The Little Mermaid (Jetsam).

MARIANNA KISELEV (Mother/Ensemble) is excited to perform in her second Algonquin Arts Theater performance. She was recently seen in The Sound of Music.

NICHOLAS LUTZ (Charlie/Jim/Ensemble) is thrilled to be in his second AAT production! He was last seen in this past spring’s Hello Dolly! (Barnaby). He has performed in Matilda (Bruce), Seussical (JoJo), and Honk! (Bullfrog) for which he received the Count Basie Award for “Best Featured Male Performer in a Musical.”

DANNY MARKS (Policeman/Ensemble) is proud to be part of Algonquin Arts Theatre’s ELF! You may know him from previous productions such as, Hello Dolly! (Ensemble), and The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Choir).

KARINA-ANNE MINALL (Security Guard/Ensemble) is thrilled to be in her second show at the Algonquin! Her previous credits include The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Choir), Matilda (Ms. Trunchbull), Fiddler on the Roof (Yente) and High School Musical (Ms. Darbus).

BENJAMIN NELLER (Featured Ensemble) is a rising Senior at Brick Memorial High School and he is ecstatic to be involved in Elf at AAT. His previous credits at AAT include: Mary Poppins (Stage Manager/Ensemble), Hello Dolly! (Stage Manager/Ensemble), and The Sound of Music (Stage Manager/Ensemble).

ADELINE O’MARA (Emma Van Brocklin/Ensemble) is a freshman VPA major at Red Bank Regional and is so happy to be back at AAT! Past credits include Hello, Dolly! (Ensemble), You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown (Snoopy), A Christmas Story (Chief Elf/Ensemble).

EMILY SCERBO (Waitress/Ensemble) is so thrilled to be a part of her first musical with the Algonquin! She is in her senior year of high school. Past credits include Sister Act Jr. (Ensemble), Puffs (Colin/Ensemble), and Newsies (Scabs/Bowery Beauty/Ensemble).

ROBERT WEINSTEIN (Customer/Ensemble) was last seen at AAT as Santa in A Christmas Story. He has directed county premieres of Honk!, Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and Moby Dick the Musical. He's performed in Forever Plaid, Yeston's Phantom, and Titanic among others.

ALGONQUIN ARTS THEATRE (Pamela Ward-Executive Director) is a 501c(3) non-profit center for performing arts, providing cultural enrichment and arts education for residents and visitors of Central New Jersey and the Jersey Shore through high quality performances and programs in theatre, music, dance and film.

Located in Manasquan, N.J., AAT is an integral part of the Shore region, offering broad access to arts experiences across multiple disciplines. Deeply committed to education, AAT serves students of all ages not only through art and music instruction, but also through the unique communal conversation that exists between audience member and performer. A journeyman house, AAT features the work of young and emerging artists, designers and directors working alongside seasoned professionals.

AAT provides a platform for local and regional performers to showcase their work and offers audiences the opportunity to engage very directly and personally in the arts, fostering greater participation and providing an engaging means for exploring personal and societal issues through the world of the stage.

Algonquin Arts Theatre's programs are made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts / Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. Funding is also provided by Hackensack Meridian Health, the PNC Foundation, Manasquan Bank, Sunnyside Manor, the Dodge Foundation, the Provident Bank Foundation and the generosity of other businesses and their patrons.



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