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"Elf Jr.": A Surprise Hit


Many of the HHRS families, friends, and fans came out to support the middle school musical, “Elf Jr.,” on November 30th and December 1st, 2018. Based off of the popular and hilarious staple Christmas movie, “Elf”, the middle school version was just as entertaining and super fun from beginning to end. We also caught a glimpse of just how talented our 7th, 8th, and 9th graders are!

The story is based around a man-child, raised by elves who discovers he is actually human and his real father is in New York City. Buddy is informed his father is on the "naughty list" and that Santa’s sleigh can’t fly without people’s Christmas spirit that comes from believing in Santa. Throughout his journey to New York City, Buddy discovers his real father and a family he never had, as well as finding love in the unlikeliest of places; a department store. Through Buddy’s determination to discover himself and win over his new family, he ends up helping the entire city to remember the true meaning of Christmas. It is a funny story with a great message about love and family that warmed people’s hearts.

The show started out with our “Santa”, portrayed by Casey Forbes, sharing the amusing introduction about "Buddy, the Elf." Jesse Plumaker delivered a solid and hilarious performance in his portrayal of Buddy. Fellow headliner Samantha Yannarelli played the part of Buddy’s love interest, "Jovie." The whole auditorium was blown away with her vocal talents, especially her solo. Other fellow headliners included Quinn Casey, who played the nasty “Walter Hobbs." He portrayed the Scrooge-like character of James Caan from the movie, who was constantly getting backlash and chaotic results caused by Buddy’s inability to adapt in his new human environment. Ellie Conover played the part of Walter’s wife, “Emily Hobbs." Aiden Winters played “Michael Hobbs”, Buddy’s new little brother. They completed Buddy’s new family and both Winters and Conover executed a solid duet. A fan favorite, freshman Jack Denvir, played the part of the “Fake Santa” in the mall and his engagement with the audience was hilarious.

Whilst dealing with various medical issues, Mrs. Sweeney (director) was able to pull this cast together to put on quite an amazing show! It was a high energy production full of catchy songs and upbeat dancing. It was a crowd-pleaser that showcased the strength and talents of all who were involved. The costumes were spectacular (shout out to Mrs. Herman for her amazing work), as well as the stage sets and props. From hair and make-up design to the concessions, the supporting crew and team of parents were absolutely amazing. There was a huge amount of assistance and support from the staff, parents, friends, and our Board of Education. The list of people to thank could not be summed up in one short article. Stay tuned for info on our upcoming high school production, "Once Upon a Mattress."


-J.W. McGrath, 7th grade