Actor to play Santa in Broadway musical

Wayne Knight has signed on to play Santa in the tuner adaptation of “Elf,” set for a limited holiday engagement on Broadway later this fall.

Currently one of the stars of TV Land skein “The Exes,” Knight (“Seinfeld”) steps into a role originally played by George Wendt in the musical’s initial run on Broadway in 2010. He joins a cast that includes returning thesps Beth Leavel and Mark Jacoby, among others.

Casting for the lead role of Buddy, the human raised at the North Pole by Santa and his elves, has yet to be set. In 2010 the part was originated by Sebastian Arcelus, now in the cast of upcoming Netflix series “House of Cards.”

“Elf” kicks off a roster of upcoming productions from Warner Bros. Theater Ventures, including a developmental run of “Misery” in Pennsylvania and a West End world preem for tuner “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” WB produces “Elf” in association with Unique Features and Jujamcyn Theaters, which owns the Al Hirschfeld, the venue where “Elf” will play.

The musical logged strong sales in 2010, particularly in the weeks just prior to Christmas. This year the show faces competish from “A Christmas Story” on Broadway as well as number of other holiday stage offerings around the city.

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