I was so thrilled to catch the final performance of the Ogunquit Playhouse's rendition of Elf the Musical last night at the Portsmouth Music Hall. I was smiling from the minute the curtain went up until Buddy took his final bow.

It was a delight from start to finish.

The musical adaptation has a different feel than the movie starring Will Ferrell. It is definitely more catered to children and makes for a fun holiday outing for the whole family.

The performance got stellar reviews in the Union Leader, and the praise was well-deserved! It was a Broadway-caliber production and we are so lucky to have it accessible to us in downtown Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

Steven Booth, who played Buddy, was unbelievable. His perpetual energy and innocence made the character so endearing and a pleasure to watch. To say he carries the show is an understatement! There are only about three scenes in the entire show where he is not on stage.

I also thoroughly enjoyed Major Attaway in the role of Santa. He brought sassy energy to the character and made the audience burst out laughing with just about every line he uttered. I especially loved when he said he was thinking of leaving the Christmas business and opening a Chipotle in Boca like his brother.

It was also awesome when he said that he sees a boost in Christmas cheer every time his sleigh hovers over New Hampshire, but when it gets to New York City, it plummets. The crowd went wild for that line.

At the end of the show, Steven (who played Buddy) thanked all the "unsung heroes" of the production, aka stage crew, lights, sound, costumes, make up, wigs, etc. It takes a village to put on a production like that, and I thought it was awesome that he took the time to recognize everyone and their hard work.

Then something AMAZING happened.

Steven invited the Reed 1 Player, Andrew Gutauskas, on stage to say a few words. Apparently, he has been dating Diana Huey, the woman who played "Jovie".

He sang a little song about how he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her. Then he got down on one knee and proposed right there on stage.

She said yes, and then they made it snow in the Music Hall!


Even though I don't know these people, it was such a special moment and I couldn't help but tear up.

Big congrats to the happy couple! What a special Christmas they will have, with lots to celebrate.

Correction: An earlier version of this story stated that the conductor proposed during the final performance of Elf the Musical. It was the Reed 1 player, Andrew Gutauskas, who proposed to his longtime girlfriend, Diana Huey.

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