Everyone knows that the best way to spread Christmas cheer is “singing loud for all to hear,” and that’s what Eric Petersen will be doing this holiday season as Buddy the Elf in “Elf: The Musical.”

Related: The 10 best family holiday movies

Stepping in Buddy's shoes
Petersen says that it can be hard to bring a popular character to life. “There’s always some pressure when you’re dealing with source material that people know,” he says. “But it’s fun to start a show and know from the very beginning that the audience is already going to really like my character.”

Petersen wants audience members to leave the show loving it. “For a lot of people, ‘Elf’ became their family holiday movie,” he says. “So I think it’s kind of fun living up to people’s expectations.”

Making “Elf” into a musical
“Elf” was brought to Broadway in 2009 and in 2014 NBC produced an animated musical special, which is where many of the songs in the show come from. “The songs are really well-placed,” says Petersen.

“They’re really snappy and they kind of all feel like classic Broadway in that they’re great toe-tapping kind of songs.” If you saw the original show or the animated special, some of the music might sound familiar.

Fun for all ages
Don’t be fooled by Buddy’s child-like excitement about Christmas – there’s no age limit for who can enjoy the show.

“There are jokes for everybody, for every age level,” says Petersen. “There’s jokes that some adults might be like ‘that was childish’ but the kids love. And then there’s jokes that go over the kids’ heads that the adults love...I know people say all the time ‘this is great for the whole family,’” says Petersen. “But this show really is.”

If you go:


Until Dec. 6
Wang Theater Boston
270 Tremont St., Boston
$66 - $221

New York City
Dec. 9 - Dec. 27
The Theater at Madison Square Garden
4 Pennsylvania Plaza, 212-465-6741
$39 - $160

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