As Buddy in ELF
"Admiration of Sklar and Beguelin’s work noted, that smile was a just reaction to all that was happening on the Walnut stage, especially in the person of Christopher Sutton. Sutton captures all the facets of Buddy, and they are many. This takes skill and acting savvy because Sutton has to negotiate Buddy’s naivete with the adult and human desire for acceptance and affection and balance his appearance as six-foot man with his childlike qualities. Sutton conquers all challenges. The beauty of his performance is how he always maintains his elfin persona even when a scene calls on him to be more like Gene Kelly or Jimmy Stewart. Sutton makes you love Buddy from the start. This affection for the character carries you through some corny sequences or scenes designed to demonstrate Buddy’s need for a guide through this busy, contemporary world in which he finds himself. Sutton masters all Buddy has to do with secure show biz flair. He keeps Buddy an overgrown but optimistic and congenial child, reveling in his innocence and confusion while showing when Buddy is hurt, primarily by his father, or forced to confront a situation that will lead to his familiarity with the real world and to his maturity. Sutton makes the complex look simple and effortless, just as a master entertainer would. He has good material to work with, but Sutton makes it a perpetual delight. He is the core of “Elf,” and he makes the Walnut production a constant joy to watch."
"Elf," of course, was conceived primarily as a vehicle for Will Ferrell. Which means anyone surveying the role of Buddy the Elf has some pretty large pointed shoes to fill, but Christopher Sutton is certainly up to the task. Sutton effortlessly carries the show on his green- velvet-draped shoulders, providing a winning turn as the 30-year-old man-child with a heart of gold who is yearning for the love and security only a real family can provide. He proves to be a fine song-and-dance man in the comedic tradition of Dick Van Dyke, equally adept at broad humor and pathos. And that he doesn't play the role with the kind of Robin Williams-on-speed nuttiness the part could lend itself to is a bonus."
Chuck Darrow-Philly.com Inquirer
"Be prepared to be captivated by the performance of Christopher Sutton who plays Buddy, the Elf. His performance was awe-inspiring as he won a Barrymore for his portrayal of Buddy in The Buddy Holly Story. This Buddy not only sings, but dances up a storm."
Beyond My Backyard
"Buddy the Elf is played by Christopher Sutton, the actor who fired up the Walnut's version of "The Buddy Holly Story" two seasons back in the title role. Sutton is an endearing stage presence in any case, and here, with a roundish face and a big and toothy smile, he's absolutely impish; he turns the elf's naiveté into an asset."
Howard Shapiro-On Theater
"The absolutely enchanting Christopher Sutton, is charmingly childlike, loving, and joyous. It’s all a whole lot of fun."
"Walnut’s production stars Christopher Sutton as Buddy the Elf who, upon finding out that he is human, travels to New York City to find his father. Sutton carries almost the entire show on his shoulders, and his comic timing is matched by his superior song-and-dance skills."
"Who’s big and green and tap dances like Fred Astaire? Answer: Christopher Sutton as Buddy the Elf. Christopher Sutton is adorable as Buddy the lovable Elf, whether he’s doing hat tricks, pratfalls or slurping up spaghetti with maple syrup. He mimics the physical movements created by Will Ferrell in the film and yet manages to create his own unique interpretation of the role. On top of all this he sings and dances up a storm. What’s not to like?"
Claudia Perry, Aisle Say-Philadelphia
"Christopher Sutton plays Buddy the Elf, and he is energetic and animated in this role. Sutton’s portrayal of Buddy is lively as well as charming. His song, “Sparklejollytwinklejingley” is dynamic, and definitely full of sensational seasonal sparkle. In addition, the duet between Buddy and Deb (played by Cary Michele Miller), “Just Like Him,” is superbly done with an excellent dance number, and the scene that takes place in Rockefeller Center is magical."
"Christopher Sutton is excellent as Buddy. His character is childish but in an endearing way. You want Buddy to succeed and to keep that excitement and enthusiasm not only for Christmas, but for life. Sutton’s body language, facial and vocal expressions are comical and keep the audience laughing."
"The original film was an instant classic, and Will Ferrell’s one-liners in the starring role continue to make everyone giggle even 10 years later. With a cultural imprint like this one to live up to, playing Buddy the Elf onstage can only be done by someone with comedic timing and slapstick, someone like Christopher Sutton. Sutton has appeared in many New York City shows, tours and roles at the Walnut Street Theatre. He has also been nominated for three Barrymore Awards, receiving one. Accomplishments aside, Sutton does a wonderful job of bringing Buddy’s lighthearted spirit to the stage. If you are familiar with the movie, the first few scenes of “Elf” onstage may look like Sutton is just doing a Will Ferrell impression with one-liners intact. Fortunately, it’s a good impression. As the musical goes on, Sutton finds his groove with the help of less film-script-dependent scenes. It seems he has taken Ferrell’s mannerisms from the film and tweaked them so that they are still familiarly hilarious to the audience but funnier because they seem fresh and real. By the end of the show, the audience is paying close attention to Buddy, knowing to look for his earnest, deadpan jokes. The chemistry between Fahrner and Sutton is far better than that between Ferrell and Zooey Deschanel.; For fans of the film, this is definitely something to look forward to."
Aubrey Nagle-Arts & Entertainment
"Christopher Sutton, last seen on the Walnut's stage as another Buddy (Buddy Holly), is just as winning this time around."
"Performance wise, this production is bursting with talent. Christopher Sutton’s performance as Buddy the Elf will make you want to let him give you a big hug, but make sure he asks first, as he tends to hug first and ask after. Sutton puts over songs like “World’s Greatest Dad” with all of the energy the character needs without making him one of those over peppy guys you just want to smack. There is nothing to make Buddy obnoxious in Sutton’s performance."
Elliot Lanes, MD Theatre Guide
"The Walnut Street Theatre version stars Christopher Sutton as “Buddy,” the parent-seeking elf who descends on New York City with all his charming innocence and reminds us all that sometime, that blank slate is a lot better and sweeter than the jaded and nasty world we often see. Sutton is convincingly innocent and delightful, and happily doesn’t go over the top in creating that impression. A veteran of the Walnut’s memorable production of “Buddy Holly,” his newest Buddy character is just as stellar."
Sally Friedman for The Central Record