The Happy Elf delivers sleigh-full of fun

MCT’s take on Harry Connick Jr. fable includes five-piece jazz band

On Stage

The Missoula Community Theatre brings The Happy Elf, a family-friendly, jazzy new musical, to the MCT Center for the Performing Arts Dec. 1-18.

Destined to become a new holiday classic, The Happy Elf is based on the animated film written by Harry Connick Jr., who has 15 Grammy nominations and three Grammy Awards to his name. Guiding this light-hearted musical to the stage is director Joseph Martinez, music director Draylen Askvig and choreographer Christine Kowalchik.

“The December holidays aren’t quite right without the visit from an elf, in this case, the happiest of elves, Eubie,” says Martinez. “The holidays are about hope and Harry Connick Jr.’s story helps restore faith that there is good in everyone, although you may sometimes have to help people recognize it within themselves.”

The plot centers around Christmas Eve and Eubie the Elf, who wants nothing more than to be on Santa’s sleigh team. But he is stuck checking the nice and naughty list and realizes the entire town of Bluesville has zero people on the nice list. Eubie uses this opportunity to make his way down to this dreary little town that gets 23 seconds of sunshine each day (no wonder it’s dreary) to bring some Christmas joy to the folks that live there.

But can he find a way to get more people onto the nice list before Santa hits the road … or, night sky?

The Happy Elf score will be performed by a live, five-piece jazz band, with cool, yet precise Fosse-esque dance numbers guaranteed to knock your stockings off the shelf. The cast of 34 adult and child actors includes a sleigh-full of familiar faces and those making their MCT debut, all ready to bring this happy musical to the audience this holiday season.

Performances are 7:30 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturdays and 2 and 6:30 p.m. Sundays, Dec. 1 (Premiere Night) through Dec. 18. Tickets are going fast say those busy MCT elves. Reserve yours at, by calling 406-728-7529 (PLAY) or at the MCT Box Office, open from noon-5 p.m. Monday-Friday.