Will Blum may be the happiest actor to take the D.C. stage this winter. He kind of has to be. Blum stars as Buddy, the titular character in â€śElf The Musical,â€ť now at the Kennedy Center.
â€śAct one is just a gauntlet of Christmas cheer,â€ť Blum says. â€śItâ€™s the most energy I could expel at one time. But because [Buddyâ€™s] so happy all the time, no matter how Iâ€™m feeling before the show, I canâ€™t but help be in a good mood afterwards.â€ť
Based on the 2003 movie starring Will Ferrell, the show is the story of a human who, after hitching a ride to the North Pole as a baby, is raised as one of Santaâ€™s elves. When Buddy discovers heâ€™s a human, he travels to New York to find his biological father.
As in the film, Buddyâ€™s into sugar, smiling and relentless physical comedy.
â€śI donâ€™t get a lot of chances to leave the stage,â€ť Blum says. â€śThere are even parts of the show where Iâ€™m handed secret water bottles and stuff.â€ť
The showâ€™s book, written by Tony Award winners Thomas Meehan and Bob Martin, gives numerous nods to the film and builds out certain scenes for the stage.
â€śThe writers arenâ€™t trying to recreate moments [from the movie], but go beyond them,â€ť says Blum, whose favorite gag adapted from the film involves running through a revolving door.
A fan of the original â€śElf,â€ť Blum pays tribute to Ferrellâ€™s now-iconic creation throughout the musical.
â€śThereâ€™s something so wonderful about the way he created this character, so to deny that material would have been foolish,â€ť Blum says. â€śThereâ€™s no point in throwing away the gold in the choices he made in creating this character.â€ť
So Blum will keep smiling, which comes naturally to him.
â€śIâ€™m very optimistic, and Iâ€™m the most gullible person in the world,â€ť Blum says. â€śSo thatâ€™s my niche now, being happy.
â€śIt could be a lot worse.â€ť
Kennedy Center, 2700 F St. NW; through Jan. 5, $35-$150;Â 202-467-4600.Â (Foggy Bottom)