Elf’s Heidi Blickenstaff Counts Down Her Top Five Favorite Holiday Films
December 10th, 2014
by Josh Ferri
Broadway belter Heidi Blickenstaff is spreading some major holiday cheer over at New Jersey’s Paper Mill Playhouse where she stars as Emily Hobbs in their production of Elf. The musical is based on the popular holiday film starring Will Farrell and Zooey Deschanel about an elf that travels from the North Pole to New York City to find his biological father. It’s a modern holiday classic and the show is just as good. BroadwayBox caught up with the [title of show] vet to talk holiday movies, specifically, Heidi’s five favorite films to watch each December.
5. The Family Stone
This may not seem an obvious choice, but I LOVE this movie. There's just something about it. It's an ensemble driven, contemporary family dramedy that always makes me feel super Christmasy. I want to be a part of this family. I want to have Christmas dinner at their table; I want to have coffee with them in that kitchen; and I want to inherit the family diamond ring. This movie never fails to make me cry and miss my own crazy family back home. (This movie gets a special bonus for having another of my favorite holiday movies, Meet Me in St. Louis, in a great scene.)
4. Christmas in Connecticut
I'm a big fan of Barbara Stanwyck and she is genius in this gorgeous movie from 1945. It's kind of a snafu romantic comedy about her pretending to be the perfect Connecticut housewife, when really she's a career gal reporter. I've always loved how sassy and funny this movie is and I have the fondest memories of watching these old black and white movies with my dad at Christmas time when something delicious was baking in the oven.
3. White Christmas
What's better than this movie? It has everything! Bing Crosby's voice! The costumes! The dance numbers! Vera-Ellen's waist!! When I was a kid, this movie made me want to be a performer. It's a feast for a movie-musical fan.
2. It’s a Wonderful Life
I remember the first time I saw this movie...I must admit, it was begrudgingly. I was about 8 or 9 and my dad insisted that I would like it. At the time, I couldn't imagine a black and white movie holding the slightest interest for me. Of course, I was enthralled, and to this day it remains one of my favorites. It's one of the most gorgeous movies I've ever seen. From the story to the acting to the directing... It didn't matter that it wasn't in color. It was just so human and lovely and satisfying. Now that I'm the adult, I'm sharing it with the kids in my life. They balk like I did, and then they fall in love too. It's a movie that will stand the test of time.
1. A Charlie Brown Christmas
This will always be my favorite. My brother and I couldn't agree on much as kids, but this was one of the rare moments when we were completely aligned. (This and The Muppet Show.) I was a Peanuts comic strip fan and seeing my "friends' come to life was sort of magical. They were exactly as I had imagined them from the Sunday Comics. This movie never fails to surprise me. I always see or learn something new in a 'meaning of life' kind of way. And that Vince Guaraldi music! My Christmas is not Christmas without that music playing all season long. To this day, I can still do most of the dances that the kids do while they are rehearsing the Christmas play and the whole notion of getting the Christmas tree that was least desirable and with love and compassion, turning it into something meaningful and beautiful is something that I think about ALL YEAR LONG. Merry Christmas, Everybody!!
Let your holiday season include a trip to Paper Mill Playhouse to see Heidi Blickenstaff in ‘Elf’, now through January 4.