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Wendt, Leavel bring ‘Elf’ to stage

Musical to open in November

George Wendt, Beth Leavel (“The Drowsy Chaperone”) and Mark Jacoby (“Showboat”) are among the thesps signed on to appear in the holiday run of “Elf.”

Wendt will play Santa in the tuner adaptation of the 2003 New Line film. Casting for the roles of the central elf and his love interest, the parts played by Will Ferrell and Zooey Deschanel in the pic, has yet to be nailed down.

Michael McCormick (“Curtains”) and Valerie Wright also are among the ensemble. David Rockwell (sets), Gregg Barnes (costumes), Natasha Katz (lights) and Peter Hylenski (sound) are on tap to design the production, to be helmed by director-choreographer Casey Nicholaw (“Drowsy”).

With songs by “The Wedding Singer” duo Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin and book by Thomas Meehan (“The Producers,” “Hairspray”) and Bob Martin (“Drowsy”), the Christmas-time preem of “Elf” could be the first in a string of recurring seasonal engagements, on Broadway or elsewhere, should this initial run prove successful.

Yuletide tuners “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and “White Christmas” have each played two consecutive holiday seasons on the Main Stem in recent years, to varying degrees of success.

“Elf” is produced by Warner Bros. Theater Ventures in association with Unique Features, the company founded in 2008 by former New Line toppers.

Musical begins preview Nov. 2 ahead of a Nov. 14 opening at the Hirschfeld Theater. Holiday run wraps up Jan. 2.

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