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Cheers’ George Wendt Leads Tony-Studded Cast in ‘Elf’

George Wendt, who played affable, wise-cracking Norm, a regular at the end of the bar on the hit sit-com “Cheers,” returns to Broadway to take on the role of Santa Claus in a Tony-studded cast for the holiday comedy Elf.

Wendt, nominated six times for an Emmy will be joined in the musical by Beth Leavel, who won a best actress Tony for the Broadway hit, The Drowsy Chaperone, said Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures which is producing the show.

Based on the 2003 Will Ferrell movie, the show is about Buddy, a man who is raised at the North Pole as an elf. Realizing that he doesn’t quite fit in, he sets off on an adventure to the heart of holiday cynicism, New York City, to find his real father.

Tony Award-winner Tom Meehan and Bob Martin, who starred in and wrote the book for the The Drowsy Chaperone, team up again on the book for Elf.

Songs are by Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin (“The Wedding Singer”).

Tony Award nominee Mark Jacoby has also been cast in the musical.

Leavel (The Drowsy Chaperone, Mamma Mia!) will play Emily opposite Jacoby (Sweeney Todd, Show Boat) as Walter

The principal cast will also feature Matthew Gumley (Addams Family) as Michael, Valerie Wright (Steel Pier) as Deb, Michael McCormick (Curtains) as Mr. Greenway and Michael Mandell (Big River) as the Store Manager.

The role of Buddy his love interest Jovie has not yet been cast.

Tony Award nominee Casey Nicholaw will direct and choreograph the musical.

“Elf” opens Nov. 14 at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre for a holiday run through Jan. 2.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report)

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