This was the first year we decided to do a family New Year’s Eve celebration. Our son, Javier, is 8, so we thought he was ready to stay up late one night and see what all the fuss is about.
Fortunately, Elf the Musical was in Miami at the same time that we were visiting family, and we couldn’t think of a better way to kick off the festivities than with Buddy, the world’s most lovable elf. We secured three tickets for opening night at the Adrienne Arsht Center, which in and of itself is a treat to visit. The amazing performing arts center is an architectural show-stopper.
We took the free trolley down Brickell Avenue and Biscayne Blvd from a friend’s apartment, so we wouldn’t have to deal with traffic and parking. We loved the experience of riding in an old-fashioned trolley car with modern comforts like air conditioning alongside people from all walks of life. It was also neat to ride through Miami’s downtown, a piece of the city that has changed so much in recent years, and see the shiny new buildings nestled next to old historic ones.
It turns out Elf the Musical is a fab family affair. The lobby was decked out in Elf décor. I think the performing arts center’s design team knew lots of kids would be coming, because they set up pop-up candy shops in the lobby, the kind where you scoop your favorite goodies into a bag and pay based on the weight of your sugar stash. It matched the occasion because seeing Elf performed on stage is like indulging in a dozen miniature cupcakes in various flavors, each of them representing a different part of the show and leaving you feeling high on life.
The costumes covered every color of the rainbow, and the songs were catchy, jolly and sprinkled with adult jokes that most kids didn’t even notice, making the event a true family affair. My boyfriend and I sipped champagne and enjoyed the show just as much as Javier, who pretty much stayed on the edge of his booster seat throughout the performance. Before the show began, ushers went around and made sure each child had a booster for the best view possible. It was Javier’s first live musical, and I feel confident in saying the boy is hooked.
In honor of New Year’s Eve, each seat had a card with a gold or silver “Happy New Year” necklace and a note that said, “Don’t forget to visit the lobby during intermission for a special surprise!”
We couldn’t resist the tease, so as soon as the curtain came down for intermission, we made a bee line to the lobby, where silver confetti rained down on us every few minutes.
The show is a total delight, and a great way to both close out the holidays and start a new year. It will be in Miami through Jan. 5th. Catch it if you can, and happy new year!