George Wendt is heading back to Boston later this year, but it's not for another round of drinks with the "Cheers" gang.
The actor will reprise his role as Santa in the upcoming production of "Elf: The Musical," which stops at the Wang Theatre in Boston at the end of November before heading to the Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York to close out 2017. Wendt, who played jolly old Saint Nicholas in the play's original Broadway run, is excited to return to the iconic role.
"It’s such a beloved character," Wendt tells Metro. "My favorite part is being on board with the whole ensemble and putting it together as we always do. Being on stage is kind of the gravy."
Considering his long history with Boston thanks to his fan-favorite role as Norm on "Cheers," Wendt is especially pumped to bring the muscial to the Hub this holiday season.
The 68-year-old actor loves visiting the city, which he calls "a great theater town." Having previously performed on stage in Boston as a juror in "Twelve Angry Men" several years ago, Wendt is also excited to play a more fun-loving character this time around.
"It’s really great to be playing in Boston," Wendt says. " I came through Boston with the tour of "12 Angry Men." Santa is a little bit different than juror No. 1. Still, it’s great, palpable energy in Boston. It’s my kind of town."
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Aside from getting his song and dance numbers down for his return as Santa, Wendt tells Metro that he's "of course" interested in bringing Norm back, should the opportunity arise in the future. While the world of TV seems to be obsessed with reboots these days, he's not confident that "Cheers" will return to the small screen anytime soon.
"Norm would be very happy to be back," Wendt says. "I am not holding my breath, however. But the character of Sam Malone at 70 would be pretty interesting, I would think."
If you go:
"Elf: The Musical," Nov. 28-Dec. 10, Wang Theatre, 270 Tremont St., Boston, bochcenter.org