Center Stage presents Elf Jr. The Musical Dec. 14 at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre, featuring Gracie Gilowski (front left), Amelia Spitzer (from right), Emi Nicolson (back from left), Breanna Jolly, Elena Friesen, Inara Whitefield and Miyah Nicolson. (Mori Images)

Seasonal spirit shines in Vernon production of Elf

Center Stage Performing Arts Academy presents musical Dec. 14

If you’re not quite feeling the holiday spirit, or are just looking for an extra dose, Center Stage is ready to get your Sparkle, Jolly, Twinkle, Jingly on.

The Performing Arts Academy Junior Company presents Elf Jr., The Musical Dec. 14 at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre.

“It’s really funny,” said 10-year-old Amelia Spitzer who plays Michael in the production based upon the New Line Cinema film written by David Berenbourm and book by Thomas Meehan and Bob Martin.

Keira Gloeckler, the 11-year-old Hillview Elementary student who plays Deb, adds: “It’s hilarious. It’s a fun production. It’s not cheesy but it’s kind of crazy.”

Starring as Buddy, 17-year-old Elena Friesen is the oldest cast member working with the approximately 150 Kindergarten to Grade 8 performers. While she may be the oldest, she has the most childlike role as the inane elf who helps spread Christmas cheer to those who are feeling more Scrooge-like.

See related: Vernon actress up for Joey award

“I like Elena’s hyperness. She’s so kiddish, like a seven-year-old,” said Coldstream Elementary student Emi Nicolson, 11, who plays Buddy’s dad, Walter Hobbs.

Playing a more mature role as Jovi is 12-year-old Inara Whitefield.

“We all have to act older than we are,” she said. “Except Elena.”

Friesen, who attends Students Without Borders, has been studying under Center Stage owner Charity Van Gameren since she was little and is now an assistant instructor.

“I’ve been working with these guys for the past few years,” said Friesen. “It’s a nice experience to work with them instead of teaching them. I love working with them.”

Watching them develop confidence and skill on stage is also a pleasure for both Friesen and Van Gameren.

“They slowly grow up through the programs and their abilities grow,” said Van Gameren. “By the time they get into Grades 5-7, they’re ready to take on bigger roles.”

See last year’s production: Vernon junior actors reignite classic Christmas performance

They’ve even managed to master the tongue-twisting verses of a key song in the play.

“The hardest part of the whole show is saying Sparkle, Jolly, Twinkle, Jingly,” said Van Gameren.

While the young actors have matured in their roles in Elf, there is also a lot of juvenile fun that plays out on stage.

“There are some really good comedic moments,” said Van Gameren. “What a good dose of Christmas cheer.”

Adds 12-year-old Breanna Jolly, who plays Emily: “When you go on stage, there’s so much energy.”

Joining the junior company are members of Actors Toolbox (featured in the North Pole scene) and the dance group.

“So it’s not just the musical theatre group,” said Van Gameren. “They all get to be involved, which they love.”

Elf Jr. takes the Performing Arts Centre stage Friday, Dec. 14 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $23 for adults and $20 for students and seniors, available at ticketseller.ca or 250-549-7469.


@VernonNews
jennifer@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Cuteness overload: duckling thinks dog is its mom

Photographer Fiona Hook shot a cute video after noticing one of her ducklings had taken a special liking to her dog.

Fire near Vernon airport “not a concern”

Vernon firefighters attended the scene and found a resident performing a controlled burn

Keep an eye on this up-and-coming Vernon director

15-year-old Bowen O’Brien celebrates filmmaking successes.

Visiting author gets personal

Keri Lefave will be reading from her book, Unfinished, at the Vernon Public Library on Saturday, April 27th at 11 a.m.

Vernon poet launches new book

Kerry Gilbert’s new work, a cautionary tale through the guise of little red riding hood, will launch at the Caetani Cultural Centre’s Studio Gallery April 26 at 7 p.m.

Update: Fire destroys Peachland home on Somerset Avenue

Crews are still on scene pumping water onto the blaze

Waste not: Kootenay brewery leftovers feed the local food chain

Spent grains from the Trail Beer Refinery are donated to local farmers and growers, none go to waste

Summerland student examines effects of sound

Science fair project will go to national competition in New Brunswick

Sons of Anarchy’s Kim Coates stops by Okanagan café

Coates was spotted in West Bank’s Kekuli Café on April 20

B.C. women make 2,200 cabbage rolls for charity

The money raised was donated to former NHL player Aaron Volpatti, who is raising funds for ALS

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, 35 people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

B.C. mom wages battle to get back four kids taken from her in Egypt

Sara Lessing of Mission has help from Abbotsford law firm

B.C. mountain biker sent home from hospital twice, despite broken vertebrae

Released in Maple Ridge to go home with three fractured vertebrae

Seven tips to travel safely this Easter long weekend

An average of three people are killed, and hundreds more injured, each Easter long weekend in B.C.

Most Read