Comes Home for the Holidays to Segerstrom Center for the Arts

by • October 28, 2016 • Entertainment, November 2016

elf_layers-no-bckgrdFor a solid month after my kids watched the beloved New Line Cinema movie ELF, whenever either of them would pick up a phone call, they’d answer, (with as much pep and holiday cheer as possible) “Buddy the Elf, what’s your favorite color?” If you haven’t seen the movie, I’d ask you to just put this magazine down, brew some hot cocoa, pop a batch of peppermint Tollhouse cookies in the oven, and immediately find a copy to put on.

But here in Orange County, we can go one better as we are lucky enough to be able to experience the live action version of the hilarious tale of Buddy the Elf’s journey to New York to discover his true identity at its exclusive premiere at Segerstrom Center for the Arts.

Connor Barth (Michael), Matt Kopec (Buddy) and Drew Pulver (Walter)

Connor Barth (Michael), Matt Kopec (Buddy) and Drew Pulver (Walter)

After its record-breaking run at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre during the 2010-2011 holiday season, ELF The Musical lands with a jingle of sleigh bells at Segerstrom Hall on December 20. In this modern day Christmas classic, Buddy, a young orphan child, mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported back to the North Pole. Unaware that he is actually human, Buddy’s enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth. Most of us might cringe when imagining a grown-up human man in tights self-actualizing on stage, but the critics are raving. The New York Times called ELF “A splashy, peppy, sugar-sprinkled holiday entertainment” and Variety proclaimed that ELF is “happy enough for families, savvy enough for city kids, and plenty smart for adults!”

The Segerstrom Center production of ELF The Musical features songs by Tony Award® winning nominees Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin (The Wedding Singer), with a book created by Tony Award winners Thomas Meehan (Annie, The Producers, Hairspray), and Bob Martin (The Drowsy Chaperone). The production will feature direction by Sam Scalamoni and choreography by Connor Gallagher – bringing Buddy’s endless charm, innocence and magical holiday cheer to audiences young and old.

Tickets to ELF The Musical start at $29 and are available online at, by calling (714) 556-2787 and at the Box Office at 600 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa. For inquiries about group ticket savings for 10 or more, please call the Group Services office at (714) 755-0236.

Segerstrom Center presents a broad range of programming each season for audiences of all ages, including international ballet and dance, national tours of top Broadway show, intimate performances of jazz and cabaret, contemporary artists, classical music performed by renowned chamber orchestras and ensembles, free performances open to the public from outdoor movie screenings to dancing on the plaza and many other special events. Visit to find out more.

American Ballet Theatre Set to Perform The Nutcracker at Segerstrom Center for the Arts
Dec. 9 – 18, 2016

American Ballet Theatre’s The Nutcracker - Misty Copeland Photo by Doug Gifford

American Ballet Theatre’s The Nutcracker – Misty Copeland
Photo by Doug Gifford

The Nutcracker, set to music by Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky, features choreography by Alexei Ratmansky, scenery and costumes by award-winning designer Richard Hudson and lighting by Jennifer Tipton. The Pacific Symphony performs the beloved holiday score. In the Los Angeles Times review from last year’s inaugural Center performance, it declared, “Choreographer Alexei Ratmansky has made his own Christmas miracle: a joyful ‘Nutcracker’ ballet that is ravishing and clever enough to inspire multiple viewings.”

Misty Copeland and Herman Cornejo Photo by Doug Gifford

Misty Copeland and Herman Cornejo
Photo by Doug Gifford

Misty Copeland and Herman Cornejo will lead the opening night cast of The Nutcracker roles of Clara, the Princess and Nutcracker, the Prince, respectively. Subsequent casts include Hee Seo and Cory Stearns, Gillian Murphy and James Whiteside, Isabella Boylston and Jeffrey Cirio, Stella Abrera and Alexandre Hammoudi, and Sarah Lane and Joseph Gorak in the leading roles. The engagement of The Nutcracker continues an on-going relationship between Segerstrom Center and American Ballet Theatre. The Company has appeared at the Center since the beginning in 1987. At the Center, ABT gave the world premiere of Mikhail Baryshnikov’s Swan Lake in 1988, the West Coast premiere of Kevin McKenzie’s new production of The Sleeping Beauty in 2007 and the world premiere of a new production of Firebird by Alexei Ratmansky in 2012. In 2008, the Center and ABT cocommissioned Twyla Tharp’s Rabbit and Rogue, receiving its world premiere in New York and West Coast premiere at the Center. In 1999, ABT’s production of Le Corsaire was taped in Segerstrom Hall for broadcast on PBS’ Dance In America, winning an Emmy Award. In 2003, The Dream was also taped at the Center for broadcast on Dance In America. In March 2015, Segerstrom Center presented the world premiere of ABT’s new production of The Sleeping Beauty as choreographed by Maurius Petipa with staging and additional choreography by Artist in Residence Alexei Ratmansky. In March of 2017, American Ballet Theatre will return to the Center with the world premiere of its new production, Whipped Cream, choreographed by ABT Artist in Residence Alexei Ratmansky, with sets and costumes by pop-surrealist Mark Ryden.

Single tickets for American Ballet Theatre’s The Nutcracker start at $29 are now available online at, at the Box Office at 600 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa or by calling (714) 556-2787. For inquiries about group ticket discounts for 10 or more, call the Group Services office at (714) 755-0236.

Special Sweet Seats are available for every performance and include:
• Premier seating location in Orchestra rows A – F
• Exclusive pre-show selfie opportunity with ABT dancer
• A special Nutcracker-themed gift
• A special holiday sweet treat.

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