Lehigh Valley

Connick Jr working with Pa. Youth Theatre on 'Happy Elf'

Connick Jr working with Pa. Youth Theatre on 'Happy Elf'

BETHLEHEM, Pa. - The Christmas City got an early Christmas present Monday. His name is Harry Connick Jr.

He's sold more than 25 million albums, won several Grammy Awards and starred in a Tony Award-winning Broadway play, but Connick was in town to promote his upcoming work with the Pennsylvania Youth Theatre.

"Pennsylvania Youth Theatre is a remarkable opportunity for the people here," Connick said. "Any chance I get to be a part of that, which really doesn't happen as much as I'd like I take advantage of it."

Connick is helping to develop the stage version of "The Happy Elf," which is based on a song Connick wrote, which was turned into a cartoon. "The Happy Elf" centers on Eubie, an over-eager elf who learns about the true meaning of Christmas.

"It's going to be big and exciting. I know there is a ton of kids in this show. It's going to be loud and fun," Connick said.

Taking the animation to the stage takes work. Between now and the November 30 opening night, Connick will be back several times to work with the kids and the directing team to make sure the show is worthy of Broadway.

"I'm excited to get in there and watch the songs evolve. Maybe that kid who wants to work on his voice,  well I'm sure I'll get to work with him and say, 'Hey, maybe you can try this,' and maybe I'll learn something from him," Connick said.

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