Harry Connick, Jr.'s The Happy Elf
Eubie the Elf is on a musical mission to bring Christmas cheer to a town on Santa's naughty list.
Show Essentials
16
Roles
+ Ensemble
PG
Rated
2
Acts

Full Synopsis

Act One

Harry Connick, Jr., appears in voice-over and encourages the kids in the audience to sit up, pay attention and get ready to get happy, because he is about to tell the story of The Happy Elf. The elf in question is named Eubie, and he is a good, happy and creative elf who loves Christmas more than anything. Next, Harry introduces the kids to Molly, who is a pretty bad kid. Her dad's a workaholic, her mom is just trying to hold it all together, and nobody gives Molly much attention or affection. She doesn't care about Christmas; she's been on the bad list for twelve years running and she's proud of that. Harry informs us that this quality is what will bring Molly and Eubie together, but they are skeptical.

The story begins the day before Christmas at Santa's workshop at the North Pole. Eubie and his friend, Hamm, are at work, and Eubie is singing. Just as Hamm is reminding Eubie that their supervisor, Norbert, hates music at work, Norbert bursts in and reprimands Eubie for singing. He tells the elves that they are on lockdown; there's no time for merriment. Gilda, another elf and friend of Eubie's, runs on, clutching her cell phone. She announces that they all have a Tree-mail from Santa. Santa is going to be picking three special elves to fly with him on Christmas Eve – a Sleigh Team – and he's picking these elves tonight. Gilda, Hamm and Eubie get excited that they could be the three elves on the Sleigh Team, but Norbert scoffs and tells them to get back to work.

Gilda sees a mischievous look on Eubie's face and reminds him to be good; she warns him that, if he loses his hat (a punishment for misbehavior), he won't be able to travel, talk to animals or go to elf karaoke. Eubie agrees, but he is so excited that he ends up leading the other elves in a massive song and dance that totally messes up toy production ("The Happy Elf"). Norbert returns to see the mess and is furious. He fires Eubie and he tells him that, if he pulls another stunt like this, he will take his hat. He tells everyone else to get back to work. Hamm and Gilda feel bad for Eubie, but he already has a crazy idea.

Eubie spies on Santa's Snow Board meeting that is being led by Norbert. The meeting begins with a pledge to please Santa. Then it is time for Santa (with a strong influence from Mrs. Claus) to pick the Sleigh Team ("The Pole Leaders"). Norbert expects to be chosen. He delivers Santa a night before Christmas status report; Santa decides that things are in good shape and he's going to have a cookie when Eubie crashes the meeting. Norbert can't believe it! Norbert tells Santa that Eubie is not supposed to be there because he fired him earlier. Eubie, however, wins over Santa by telling him how much he loves and respects him ("Santarrific"). Norbert is not pleased. Santa is getting ready to discuss Eubie's (positive) future, when Norbert interrupts: Eubie is late for work; Norbert has re-hired him, and assigned him to the Naughty and Nice Department. Santa tells Eubie that he better get back to work; the Naughty and Nice Department works the longest. Santa leaves. Eubie is crushed. Norbert is thrilled.

Eubie does the tedious work of going over the naughty and nice lists when he makes a discovery: all of the children in Bluesville, including Molly, are on the naughty list ("The Naughty Children of Bluesville"). Hamm and Gilda join him, and they all can't believe that there's a whole town with only naughty children. They begin to formulate a plan: if they can make it so that one child in Bluesville doesn't get a lump of coal in her stocking, then that will impress Santa, and they will surely make the Sleigh Team. Eubie decides that it's settled: they're going to find the naughtiest child in Bluesville and turn her nice before Christmas. However, making an unauthorized trip to Bluesville is a big risk, with severe penalties if they get caught. Gilda and Hamm are not ready to take the risk, but Eubie tells them that they don't have to come. This is his mission.

Harry introduces the kids to Bluesville, explaining that it is a dark, dismal and depressed town. Its only natural resource is coal. The Mayor and his wife, Gurt, reiterate this sentiment ("Bluesville"). Eubie arrives and is gobsmacked. The Mayor demands to know who he is, so Eubie explains. Eubie knows that Christmas can perk up this sad town of theirs, but the Mayor replies that the town isn't sad; it's mad... because all they do is work and worry about work. The Mayor's entire life is consumed with trying to figure out what to do with all of the coal in town. Eubie suggests that they burn it, but this coal doesn't burn; it just sits in a lump. The only thing it is good for is throwing.

Just then, the Mayor and Gurt's daughter, Molly, arrives. Eubie is excited to meet her, as she is the one he hopes to convert to the nice list this Christmas. Molly is not impressed and is quite upset that Eubie has brought up Christmas, which she hates. Her friend, Curtis, has the same mindset. Mid-argument about whether Eubie can turn them nice, an angry lady announces that it is sunrise. Everyone stops and soaks in the daily 23 seconds of sun. For this brief moment, everyone in Bluesville is nice and happy. Then, the sun sets, and they go back to their grumpy selves. Eubie makes a deal with Molly that he will try to convince her to like Christmas and, if he fails, she will get to throw things at him.

Molly takes Eubie on a tour of Bluesville to show him just how bad it is. Their first stop is the world's one and only question mark-making factory. It's a bad job, but someone has to do it ("The What Song"). Eubie posits that question marks are good for finding out answers to questions, but Curtis explains that they never get the answers in Bluesville, which makes them mad and bad. Despite the desperation of the situation, Eubie suspects that there might be something good underneath all the bad in Bluesville.

Next, Molly takes Eubie to Gurt's music shop. Eubie is very excited about a music shop, but Gurt explains it is hard to find people to play music in Bluesville. She misses her old life in another town before they came to Bluesville ("The Poop Hole Song"). She breaks down crying, and Curtis and Molly tell Eubie that he is only making things worse. Can't he see that Christmas can't survive in Bluesville? They are about to make him leave when Eubie asks Curtis if there is anything that makes Molly happy. Curtis reveals that Molly likes candy. Eubie describes Christmas in wonderful candy terms and gets Molly laughing and smiling ("Two Scoops of Christmas").

Molly is still suspicious of Eubie, though: nobody cares about Bluesville... so why does he? Eubie explains that humanity is like strings of Christmas lights: if one goes out, everyone is dark. To her surprise, his statement genuinely moves Molly. Eubie gives Molly his elf hat, which is what holds all of his magic – he thinks she needs it more than he does. However, an elf cannot just give away his hat. He is suddenly warped back to the North Pole, where Norbert is waiting. Norbert explains that the worst offense an elf can do is give away his hat and he puts Eubie on Gingerbread House Arrest ("That Magic Hat").

Act Two

Eubie is lamenting his fate when Gilda and Hamm appear to rescue him. Gilda has stolen Norbert's hat so that Eubie can go back to Bluesville and finish what he started. Eubie, though, has lost his elf-esteem; he doesn't believe he can help. Gilda explains that's why she and Hamm are going with him: together, the three of them can do anything ("Three").

Meanwhile, back in Bluesville, Molly is despondent. Things have gotten worse now that she has seen what she could have had... but has lost, because of Eubie's disappearance. Just then, Eubie, Gilda and Hamm arrive. Eubie gets straight to business; they have one day to prove to Santa that Bluesville deserves Christmas. The plan is that Molly will take Hamm to the factory so he can do his mechanic thing, Gilda and Curtis will go to the cliffs with Windex and hand sanitizer and, finally, Eubie is going to get a tree. Together, they will turn things around for Bluesville ("Operation Yule Tide Turning").

In another part of Bluesville, Norbert and Coppa arrive, ready to grab Eubie and Norbert's hat before Santa finds out. Hamm tells Molly who Norbert and Coppa are, and she vows to protect her friends, which she begrudgingly admits the elves are. Norbert catches Eubie with the tree and tries to arrest him. Molly distracts Norbert so that Eubie can get away. During an elaborate chase scene, Eubie, Gilda and Hamm work the rest of their elf magic on Bluesville, making it ready for Christmas. Now, all they need is Santa.

The clock strikes midnight (when official toy delivery begins), but nothing happens; Molly is devastated. She believes that Eubie and the elves have tricked her, and she says that they were just using her so they could get on the Sleigh Team. Eubie agrees. He realizes Santa hasn't come because of him. Eubie came to Bluesville to prove something about himself to Santa, not to prove something about the town... and that's not the true Christmas spirit. He reminds Molly how wonderful Christmas is and insists that she has the Christmas spirit based on her actions in helping him ("Christmas Day"). Eubie gives her back his hat... and also a lump of coal, explaining that "You never know what you may find on the inside."

Frustrated, Molly smashes the coal on the floor and, to her surprise, it breaks away to reveal a shining diamond! Excited, Molly calls Curtis and all of the citizens of Bluesville. She explains that Eubie showed her how everyone has goodness inside of them, and that lesson has come true with the coal. They will all be rich now because, if they smash the coal, they will find diamonds inside, too. She tells her father that, even if he doesn't care about her, he should care about that. The Mayor is shocked – she is worth more to him than all the diamonds in the world. In order to make up for leading her to believe anything else, he promises to help bring Christmas to Bluesville.

As a result of the Mayor's and the elves' actions, Bluesville starts to change. The What Factory starts manufacturing exclamation points instead of question marks and becomes the Wow Factory ("The Wow Song"). In the Bluesville town square, the Mayor and Gurt officially welcome Christmas to Bluesville ("What a Night!") Eubie, Gilda and Hamm enter with jingle bells and start having a snowball fight with Molly. Suddenly, they look to the sky and see a sleigh with eight reindeer. Santa has arrived!

Norbert rushes to Santa to try to tell the story in a way that most favors him, but Curtis and Molly tell Santa the truth about Norbert's attempts to ruin their Christmas. Eubie tells him that's not the Christmas spirit. Santa agrees that Norbert has been naughty this year and assigns him to the job of reindeer pooper-scooper. He then asks Eubie, Gilda and Hamm to hand out toys, which they do, much to everyone's delight.

Santa names Eubie, Hamm and Gilda to the Sleigh Team, and Molly convinces Eubie to kiss Gilda, his new girlfriend. Molly and Eubie agree that, rather than saying goodbye, they will just see each other next year. Curtis notices that the sun is rising and not setting right away. The residents of Bluesville are shocked. Gilda explains that it was Eubie's idea: they cleared the coal off of the mountains and, underneath, were shiny, Bluesville diamonds. Santa and the sleigh team take off as everyone wishes one other a Merry Christmas. Harry reminds the kids in the audience that they should be good to everyone, be nice to elves and let their best selves shine ("The Happy Elf – Reprise").

Casting

Casting

Cast Size: Flexible Cast Size
Cast Type: Children
Dance Requirements: Standard

Character Breakdown

Eubie
The Happy Elf, a "Trainee" in the Toy Department. Eubie is all smiles and songs. That, and his lack of self-control, is what aggravates Norbert the most and his kept him a trainee for 10 years.
Gender: male
Age: 20 to 30
Vocal range top: G4
Vocal range bottom: C3
Molly
The mean-girl, diva daughter of the Mayor of Bluesville.
Gender: female
Age: 12 to 12
Vocal range top: C5
Vocal range bottom: D4
Hamm
Sleigh Mechanic, best friends with Eubie and Gilda.
Gender: male
Age: 20 to 30
Vocal range top: G4
Vocal range bottom: C3
Gilda
A Reindeer Veterinarian obsessed with cleanliness, allergic to everything, and has a "crush" on Eubie.
Gender: female
Age: 20 to 30
Vocal range top: G5
Vocal range bottom: C4
Norbert
Foreman Elf. An angry man, his world is orderly and "by the book" and he wants to keep it that way. Eubie's nemesis.
Gender: male
Age: 30 to 40
Vocal range top: G4
Vocal range bottom: G2
Santa
The one and only.
Gender: male
Age: 50 to 60
Vocal range top: F4
Vocal range bottom: G2
Mrs. Claus
The wife of the "one and only."
Gender: female
Age: 50 to 60
Mayor
Mayor of Bluesville and Molly's workaholic Dad.
Gender: male
Age: 30 to 40
Vocal range top: E4
Vocal range bottom: A2
Gurt
Wife of Mayor of Bluesville and Molly's Mom.
Gender: female
Age: 30 to 40
Vocal range top: A4
Vocal range bottom: C#3
Curtis
Molly's minder and personal assistant in Bluesville.
Gender: male
Age: 12 to 12
Vocal range top: F4
Vocal range bottom: D3
Angry Lady
An angry lady.
Coppa
An officer of the North Pole-ice.
Ensemble
Toy Elves, Reindeer Elves, Candy Elves, Elfettes, Bluesville Citizens, Workers
Full Song List
Harry Connick, Jr.'s The Happy Elf: The Happy Elf
Harry Connick, Jr.'s The Happy Elf: Pole Leaders
Harry Connick, Jr.'s The Happy Elf: Santarrific
Harry Connick, Jr.'s The Happy Elf: The Naughty Children of Bluesville
Harry Connick, Jr.'s The Happy Elf: Bluesville
Harry Connick, Jr.'s The Happy Elf: The What Song
Harry Connick, Jr.'s The Happy Elf: The P**p Hole Song
Harry Connick, Jr.'s The Happy Elf: Two Scoops of Christmas
Harry Connick, Jr.'s The Happy Elf: That Magic Hat
Harry Connick, Jr.'s The Happy Elf: Three
Harry Connick, Jr.'s The Happy Elf: Operation Yule Tide Turning
Harry Connick, Jr.'s The Happy Elf: Christmas Day
Harry Connick, Jr.'s The Happy Elf: The Wow Song
Harry Connick, Jr.'s The Happy Elf: What A Night!
Harry Connick, Jr.'s The Happy Elf: The Happy Elf - Reprise

Show History

Inspiration

The Happy Elf is a holiday musical with book by Andrew Fishman and a score by jazz singer/songwriter, Harry Connick, Jr. It is a direct adaptation of the holiday special of the same name, which aired in 2005 and tells the story of a lovable elf who tries to bring Christmas joy to an entire town of naughty children. The special itself was expanded from one song from Connick's 2003 holiday album, Harry for the Holidays.

The creators of the original holiday special, "The Happy Elf," had the desire to bring the story to the stage. Screenwriter, Andrew Fishman, retooled and expanded the book, while composer Harry Connick, Jr., wrote five new additional songs.

Productions

The Happy Elf premiered at the Coterie Theatre in Kansas City, Missouri, on November 13, 2007. The Adventure Theatre at Montgomery College in Rockville, Maryland, then produced a full workshop in a run from November 12, to November 28, 2010. Composer Harry Connick, Jr., then spent the next couple of years reworking the musical. On December 1, 2012, a version ready for publication played at the Charles Brown Ice House in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The Scranton Cultural Center at the Masonic Temple in Scranton, Pennsylvania, produced the final illustrative staging before the musical's official publication.

Trivia

  • The Rockville, Maryland, production of The Happy Elf featured a performance from Broadway actor, Michael Rupert.

Critical Reaction

"Like a huge grab-bag of Christmas presents. Probably the best thing about it, like that bag, is how big it is."
– The Morning Call

"Connick's score bubbles with New Orleans shuffle and sass."
– The Washington Post

Connect

Billing

Based on the song by Harry Connick, Jr., and adapted from the television show written by Andrew Fishman

Requirements

You must give the authors/creators billing credits, as specified in the Production Contract, in a conspicuous manner on the first page of credits in all programs and on houseboards, displays and in all other advertising announcements of any kind.
Percentages listed indicate required type size in relation to title size.
Harry Connick Jr.'s
THE HAPPY ELF
(100%)
 
Music and Lyrics by
HARRY CONNICK, JR.
(50%)
 
Book by
LAUREN GUNDERSON & ANDREW FISHMAN
(50%)
 
The authorship credits to be given to each of the parties constituting the Authors shall be of equal size, prominence and style of type and in no event shall one name appear without the other as authors.
In addition, on the title page of each copy of the program, directly beneath the author credits described above, the following credits shall be given:
Based on the song by Harry Connick, Jr.
(50% of title)
 
Adapted from the television show written by Andrew Fishman
(25% of title)
 
In addition, on the title page of each copy of the program, Harry Connick, Jr. shall receive a credit for his orchestrations and arrangements in the form:
"All Music Arrangements and Orchestrations by Harry Connick, Jr."

Video Warning

If you purchase a separate license to allow non-commercial video recording of this production, you must print the following in your program. ANY VIDEO RECORDING MADE OF THIS PERFORMANCE IS AUTHORIZED FOR PERSONAL, AT-HOME, NON-COMMERCIAL USE ONLY. THE SALE OR DISTRIBUTION OF SUCH RECORDING IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED UNDER FEDERAL COPYRIGHT LAW. If you do not purchase the separate license for video recording, you must print the following in your program. The videotaping or other video or audio recording of this production is strictly prohibited

Included Materials

ItemQuantity Included
AUDIO GUIDE1
LIBRETTO/VOCAL BOOK20
PERFORMANCE ACCOMPANIMENT CD (STD)1
PIANO CONDUCTOR'S SCORE2

Production Resources

Resource
LOGO PACK
LOGO PACK DIGITAL
PRODUCTIONPRO
REFERENCE RECORDING
VIDEO LICENSE

STANDARD ORCHESTRATION

InstrumentationDoubling
BASS
DRUMS
REED 1
TROMBONE
TRUMPET