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MusicalFare’s ‘Elf: The Musical’ brings the classic film to life

Now in its 30th anniversary season, MusicalFare will present “Elf: The Musical” Nov. 13-Dec. 22. A recent Broadway smash, the stage production was inspired by the story of Buddy the Elf portrayed in the classic holiday film starring Will Ferrell.

In MusicalFare’s stage version, Buddy is played by Chris J. Handley in a production directed and choreographed by Michael Walline.

Handley has appeared in many productions in WNY over the past several years, including “Fun Home” and “Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery” for MusicalFare at Shea’s 710 Theatre. This coming year, he will also be taking over as Executive Artistic Director at Buffalo’s Alleyway Theatre.

Taking on a role like Buddy is its own challenge, according to Handley.  “Everybody knows Buddy. Everybody loves Buddy. Playing any iconic role is about trying to honor all of the images and memories that everyone has and is coming to see...but at the same time this is our own unique production and, spoiler-alert, I’m not actually Will Ferrell. So the fun for me is getting to add my own ‘sparklejollytwinkle’ to all of these crazy moments!”

MusicalFare’s Artistic/Executive Director, Randall Kramer agrees. “Chris’s skill as an actor and singer are unlike those of any other in the area. His artistic vision and unique talents will take “Elf” to the highest comedic levels. I can’t think of a better person to lead this hysterical musical, which is full of heart and holiday cheer for all ages.”

Performance times are Wednesday and Thursday at 7 p.m., Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 3:30 and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $47 for all performances.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit