Kick Off Holiday Season With ‘Elf’

Nora Missel, IV Leader Staff

By Nora Missel
IV Leader Staff

The well-known story of Buddy the Elf will be taking the stage here at IVCC beginning Nov. 21.
Buddy’s story begins in the North Pole, where he comes to realize that he is actually human.
After finding this out, he travels to New York to find his father. With this, he discovers where he comes from, his new family, and even love.
Reid Tomasson, who plays Buddy the Elf, is a first-year IVCC student and film major, but his journey with theatre didn’t start here.
Since he was 9, Reid has partaken in numerous productions all over the area.
Tomasson said he was not similar to the optimistic, high energy Buddy that we all know and love.
“I will say, it’s exciting to let all of your energy out at once with a character,” he stated. “It’s very childlike, almost similar to how I was as a kid.”
Don Grant Zellmer is a part-time faculty member at IVCC. He began working professionally when he was just 13 years old, meaning that theatre has pretty much been his whole life.
Along with playing the role of Walter Hobbs, he also directs and choreographs the show.
“[It’s] a lot of hats to wear,” according to Zellmer, and it can become a bit of a challenge.
“It takes being able to multitask and notice what is going on around you, while also stepping in and out.”
Ashley Hurst, who plays Jovie, is a theatre major at IVCC. Her experience in theatre is more recent than her cast mates, beginning only four years ago right here on the IV stage.
“I love doing theatre here,” Hurst stated. “There is a bar set, and if you’re not on your A-game, then you know. I’m constantly challenged. If it’s easy, why would I do it? I completely found myself here.”
“We’re absolutely thrilled to have this powerful cast assembled of community members, students, and alumni,” said Zellmer.
“We’ve added some very experienced talent to our family of performers and have welcomed back many familiar faces from ‘Mamma Mia!’”
“This high-spirited, funny and warm show is perfect for the beginning of the holiday season, is appropriate for all ages, and is a great show for theatre-lovers, too, with its bouncy music, dance, tap, ballads, and message,” he added.
Adults appearing in “Elf – The Broadway Musical” as multiple characters and dancers are: Jake Jakielski, Marseilles; Patrick Foley, Mendota; Tracey Childers, Ottawa; Andrew Farrell, Earlville; Ryan Mooberry, Hennepin; Bob Philip, La Salle; Emma Roden, Princeton; Lexi-Anna Verda, Peru; Joshua Wooden, Princeton; Abbi Stillwell, Streator; Ella Johns, La Salle; and Nora Maier, Peru.
Children in the cast include Eva Beetz, Victoria Campbell, Myracle Johnson, Andie Kerestes, Ayden Lesman, and Ariana Lesman.
The musical comedy is directed and choreographed by Zellmer and produced and costumed by Dr. David A. Kuester.
Production staff includes Assistant Director Chad Brokaw, Princeton; Stage Manager Alyce Scott, La Salle; Set Builder and Lead Construction, Cory Tomasson, Oglesby; and Costume Construction Kaye Norlin, La Salle.
“Elf – The Broadway Musical” will play evenings at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 21, 22, 23, 29 and 30 and matinees at 2 p.m. Nov. 24, 30, and Dec. 1 in the Dr. Mary Margaret Weeg Cultural Centre.
Students and the community are invited to come kick off the holiday season with this up-beat, feel good, musical comedy!
Reserved seating is available online at and tickets are available at the door one hour prior to performance.
Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for children 12 and under.