ARVADA, Colo (CBS4) –  For many families, “Elf” has become a holiday movie tradition, but this season you can change it up a little by seeing the musical now playing at the Arvada Center for Arts & Humanities. “Elf” is the story of Buddy, who was raised as one of Santa’s elves, and goes on a journey to find his biological father.

arvada center elf Holiday Classic ‘Elf’ On Stage At The Arvada Center

“Elf: The Musical” (credit CBS)

“I cried when I got the part. It’s definitely been a dream role for a few years,” said Josh Houghton, who plays Buddy.

LINK: For Tickets & Information for “Elf: The Musical”

Houghton has some big shoes to fill, playing a part made famous by Will Ferrell in a movie that is beloved by many, but he knows he’s the right actor for the job.

“When you’re an actor that is 6-foot-6 and pretty lanky, there is a certain handful of roles that are on the bucket list and this is, for me, totally one of them,” Houghton told CBS4.

arvada center elf 3 Holiday Classic ‘Elf’ On Stage At The Arvada Center

(credit CBS)

Houghton says the hardest part about playing Buddy is that he’s on stage pretty much the whole show, which requires a great deal of stamina.

“The best part about playing Buddy would be this optimism. He’s definitely a glass-half-full kind of guy,” Houghton explained.

arvada center elf 2 Holiday Classic ‘Elf’ On Stage At The Arvada Center

(credit CBS)

His sheltered upbringing as an elf makes his experience of the modern world hilarious. Houghton is committed to making it a true experience.

“I just thought , ‘Okay, if I don’t have a filter, how would I respond to everything? And if I don’t know how humans are supposed to behave in society, how would I react?’ So I took it from there,” he said.

arvada center elf 5 Holiday Classic ‘Elf’ On Stage At The Arvada Center

“Elf: The Musical” (credit CBS)

Add a few toe-tapping tunes, and “Elf: The Musical” measures up to any holiday classic.

“It’s a Christmas show, but it really has a message of acceptance and defining what a family is and finding your tribe.”

arvada center elf 6 Holiday Classic ‘Elf’ On Stage At The Arvada Center

“Elf: The Musical” (credit CBS)

“Elf: The Musical” embodies that feeling of family and what it means to accept the oddball, even if they are an elf.

“Elf: The Musical” plays at the Arvada Center through Dec. 23.

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