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Elf: Wayne Knight tp play Santa Claus

Wayne Knight ("The Exes") will star as 'Santa Claus' in the winter holiday family show Elf - the musical, directed and choreographed by Tony Award-winner Casey Nicholaw, playing a limited return engagement of 9 weeks at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre from 9 Nov 2012 - 6 Jan 2013.

Knight, currently starring in TV Land's "The Exes," is perhaps best known to audiences as Jerry Seinfeld's arch nemesis "Newman" on the Emmy Award-winning comedy "Seinfeld." Knight's credits also include "Jurassic Park," "Toy Story 2," "Space Jam" and "3rd Rock from the Sun," among many others. He has previously starred on Broadway in 'Sweet Charity,' 'Art,' 'Mastergate' and 'Gemini.'

Knight joins the previously announced Tony Award-winner Beth Leavel (The Drowsy Chaperone) as 'Emily,' Tony Award-nominee Mark Jacoby (Show Boat) as 'Water,' Valerie Wright as 'Deb,' Adam Heller as 'Mr. Greenway' and Michael Mandell as the 'Store Manager.' Leavel, Jacoby, Wright and Mandell are reprising the roles they originated in the 2010 production of Elf - the musical Additional casting will be announced soon.

Based on the 2003 New Line Cinema movie which starred Will Ferrell in the title role, Elf features music by Tony Award nominees Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin ('The Wedding Singer'), with a book by Tony Award winners Thomas Meehan ('The Producers,' 'Hairspray') and Bob Martin ('The Drowsy Chaperone'). Elf will be directed and choreographed by Tony nominee Casey Nicholaw ('The Drowsy Chaperone,' 'Monty Python's Spamalot').

Elf tells the tale of 'Buddy,' a young orphan child who mistakenly crawls into Santa's bag of gifts and is transported back to the North Pole. Buddy is raised unaware that he is actually a human, until his enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth. With Santa's permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father and discover his true identity.

Faced with the harsh reality that his father is on the naughty list and his step-brother doesn't even believe in Santa, Buddy is determined to win over his new family and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas. The musical is based on the 2003 New Line Cinema film 'Elf,' which starred Will Ferrell as 'Buddy.'

Scenic design for Elf is by David Rockwell, costume design is by Gregg Barnes, lighting design is by Natasha Katz and sound design is by Peter Hylenski. The show will feature orchestrations by Doug Besterman.

The show is being produced on Broadway by Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures in association with Unique Features.

Elf played a successful 9-week Broadway engagement in 2010, breaking the Al Hirschfeld Theatre's box office record three times during its run. Previews began on 2 Nov 2010 and the production opened on 14 Nov and played through to 2 Jan 2011.

Wayne Knight

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