Cody Garcia (Photo by Mia Isabella)

Actor Cody Garcia takes the lead in ‘Elf the Musical’ at Bass

RICH LOPEZ | Staff writer

Although it may not be Thanksgiving quite yet, Bass Hall is ready to jump into the holiday season. Its Broadway at the Bass series opens Elf the Musical on Friday, Nov. 11, to run through Sunday, Nov. 13.

The stage show is based on the Will Ferrell comedy about an orphan who grew up with Santa’s elves but starts a search for his birth father. Cody Garcia, 29, stars in the titular lead as Buddy, and they are ready to bring Christmas cheer to the stage even this early.

They spoke with Dallas Voice about getting into the Christmas spirit and how Elf speaks to audiences beyond the holiday sentiment.

Dallas Voice: Congratulations on the leading role. You’ve probably been in the holiday spirit for a while now. Cody Garcia: Well, I haven’t been feeling it in the past few years, so I’m super excited to get into the spirit. I’m generally used to feeling that so early because of my work.

In the Broadway at the Bass production of Elf, Cody Garcia is an orphan raised among Santa’s elves (Photo by Joan Marcus)

Elf the movie has become a modern tradition among all the Christmas film. What do you think makes the story so special? The cool thing about Elf is that it can speak to a lot of people. The heart of the story is moving and genuine and optimistic. We love spreading the love as much we can through Elf.

Do you find any queer sensibitlies within Elf? I don’t necessarily look for any queerisms, but if anyone takes that away from the show, I would be so honored. I don’t think Elf is trying to do anything other than being about Christmas and a father and son.

The father and son trope often speaks to gay men. The relationship between Buddy and his father certainly is a highlight and something incredibly important. I hope it can console anyone who may find something in that.

You started in theater as a child. I was around nine. I went to summer camps in San Antonio at the Magik Theatre, and I had such incredible times early on.

Sounds like you knew theater would be your career early on? I didn’t understand what careers were. My only goal in college was to make a living as an actor. It wasn’t Broadway or the fame. It was just to work as an actor and it’s been amazing.

What do you know for sure after all this time in theater? I believe all theater is good theater — even bad theater. There’s so much community involved with it that I believe there is something good in every show. I’m very passionate about being onstage. I get to behave in a way I wouldn’t normally get to. I think it’s very helpful for my spirit.

OK, probably the question everyone asks: How is the musical the same as the movie? There are a lot of times the show nods its head to the film and has its iconic quotes and lines. However, the show is not the movie. I hope audiences will get out of that headspace because there are big differences. There is certainly homage to the film but it is also so different.

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