Christmas-themed treacle is no new phenomenon, but the news that the combination toy and surveillance tool Elf on the Shelf would be touring a musical this year certainly raised a few eyebrows. The production centers on a particularly enthusiastic "Scout Elf," whose saccharine sweetness and ever-present eye will somehow save the day.
From what we can gather, the story follows said Elf as he learns advanced spy techniques at the North Pole before packaging himself to be delivered to an unsuspecting suburban family. Drawing from the tradition of children's classics with dreadful backstories, the family that obtains our protagonist has suffered a "personal loss" that depleted its store of Christmas cheer. We can only assume that means dead parents, because that's what it always seems to be (lookin' at you, Bambi).
While the musical is ostensibly an adorable holiday tale, we have the feeling that it has an alternative aim: namely, to further convince young'uns that the suspiciously shifting, red-suited minions of Santa in their homes do indeed see them when they're sleeping. So they'd better watch out.
$29.50-$59.50, 7 p.m. Saturday, December 28, Majestic Theatre, 224 E. Houston St., (210) 226-3333, majesticempire.com.
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