Elf The Musical at The Music Hall Portsmouth – A Mom’s Review


I was lucky enough to see Elf The Musical at The Music Hall in Portsmouth on opening night. I will save you the suspense: I loved it. Like, was buzzing with energy for hours after loved it. Here’s my honest and thoughtful review of this production from a mom’s perspective, as told in list form.

Buddy the Elf hugging Santa
by Sydney Bilodeau Photography

Wow, it was so professional.

I was blown away by the sheer talent and scale of this production. This musical is actually an Ogunquit Playhouse production hosted at The Music Hall. And, if you didn’t know, this theater is world-class. The two leads (Jovie and Buddy) are literal Broadway performers. And it shows. From the costumes to the dancing, I was in awe. The ticket prices reflect the professional caliber of the show. 

The Music! The Dancing

This is the third paragraph and already this review is OVER THE TOP. But let me tell you, I speak the truth. I didn’t know any of the music beforehand and I’m finding myself singing Elf‘s songs 4 days later. Plus, the cast’s voices (OMG, Jovie!!!) and dancing acumen made each musical number a complete delight. 

I laughed so hard. 

I don’t know why but I didn’t expect it to be so funny and guffawed my way through it to the point of embarrassment. Seriously, the people in the row ahead turned around to see what was wrong with me. The actor who plays Buddy, Steven Booth, is outstanding. It was hard for me to imagine someone besides Will Ferrell playing Buddy the Elf but now, I cannot get Steven out of my head. He brings a contagious energy to the role that made me want to sing in market square like a lunatic (I really did just that, too).

Steven Booth wasn’t the only comedic genius at work. The actor who plays Santa, Major Attaway, had me losing my mind. 

There are a variety of times you can catch this show.

While 7pm on a Friday night worked for my 9 year-old and me, it may be too late for you. They have matinees which are great for kids. In my opinion, Wednesday at 1:30 is a perfect time to take off for the day! Seriously, do it. 

This show was great for kids and adults.

The entire show, including intermission, is about 2.5 hours. That may be long for some kids but there is so much to look at and take in. I’d say 5+ for a matinee, 7+ for a 7pm show. But you know your kids best. 

Elf the Musical
by Sydney Bilodeau Photography

There was a bit of light swearing but mostly very appropriate. 

Some hilarious jokes go right over most kids’ heads. There were a couple “dammits” and even a “hell” and 2 instances of “bitchy”. But the tone with which they were delivered was not scary and my 9 year-old didn’t even notice. We are pretty conservative with this stuff and it didn’t bother me a bit.

The Music Hall is so special. 

We are so privileged that there are several places to see live theater on the Seacoast. As a venue, The Music Hall shines. It’s bathrooms make me think I’m in Hogwarts (iykyk) and the entire space is stunning. There was a candy bar and this mama had a glass of wine. it was a really special night out. 

I genuinely loved this show. It was such a special way to celebrate the holidays with my daughter. We laughed, we sang, and we ate candy. Just as Buddy would have wanted us to.

I really hope you won’t miss seeing’s production of Elf The Musical at The Music Hall this season. Tickets to this event would make a great experience gift for people on your list! Buy tickets today.

*we are hosting a giveaway on our instagram for 4 tickets to see Elf the Musical at the Music Hall. Enter to win on the post and be sure to follow us and The Music Hall!


This post is sponsored by the Music Hall. But, rest assured, all opinions are our own and we tell the truth.
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Allison’s mission in life is to notice the extraordinary in the ordinary. Her commitment to see beyond what’s in front of her was fostered by her degree in Philosophy and Theology from Boston College. Allison’s a book nerd and credits her parents and inspiring English teachers for her love of reading and writing. She went on to earn her Master in Pastoral Ministry from Boston College and then taught high school for several years, both in New England and San Francisco. After moving from San Francisco to Boston with her engineer husband, she began teaching yoga and working as a social media marketing consultant. Now a Portsmouth resident, she spends most of her days with her three daughters (she does not have enough arms) and does her best to find the bliss amidst the endless snacking, dance parties and tiaras. With all the beautiful chaos in her life, she’s grateful to have her partner-in-crime (husband Charlie) and fellow movie quote enthusiast alongside her. Her passion for writing first drew her to Seacoast Moms as a contributing writer, and her desire to connect moms of the Seacoast with businesses who serve and interest them led her to become SM’s owner. Being able to write about the ordinary grace present in motherhood, while interacting with incredible Seacoast business owners is a dream come true.