Elf dances to Huntington

Shalee Rogney, Reporter

“Elf: The Musical” is danc-ing its way to the Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center as part of the Marshall Artists Series. The musical comes to Hunting-ton at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 17. The performance is an en-semble musical, which means the cast members play several roles throughout the perfor-mance. It is very similar to the movie, but not an exact replica. The director added large mu-sical numbers throughout the production. Ashtia Jewell said she joined the chaos of an ensemble per-formance after playing lead roles in “The Chirstmas Carol” and “The Jungle Book.” The Dayton native is excited about the opportunity to join such an extensive cast. “We are all so excited for the performance and to tour the different cities,” Jewell said. Jewell plays Santa’s Favorite Helper in the North Pole, an elf at Macy’s, Walter’s wife, Emily and a young lady at the end of the performance. “Elf: The Musical” opened Nov. 10 in Utica, New York. The cast started rehearsing Oct. 14 in in the New York studio where Bradley Cooper is also prepar-ing for his Broadway debut. Jewell said she was awestruck to be working in the same stu-dio as a renowned actor such as Cooper. To accomplish a full dress re-hearsal, the entire cast moved its location to Chattanooga, Tennessee, where it was able to use a local theater. The cast and stage crew had a week to perfect the show before open-ing night.Aside from their multiple roles, the actors must also per-form large Broadway dance numbers. Jewell said she and her fellow cast members spend their spare time working out to maintain their physique for the show. “We have travel days, but as soon as we are off the bus, most of us are in the hotel gym as soon as the bus is in park,” Jew-ell said.Jewell also said she believes the musical will become a modern day classic that people will talk about for years in the future. “The movie has this huge following,” Jewell said. “I think it’s really going to be the new modern Christmas classic that people will be talking about 10 years from now.”


Shalee Rogney can be con-tacted at rogney@m