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.

“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.

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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.

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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.

“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.”

“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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