Actor Michael Todd Shares Favorite Christmas Traditions
Oklahoma City artist/singer-songwriter/educator Michael Todd, who plays Buddy the Elf in the Sooner Theatre production “ELF: The Musical,” has dedicated his life to the creation of art and the education of young people, for the past year, as production manager at the historic Sooner Theatre in Downtown Norman.
“It’s a pretty remarkable job; working with kids, directing, designing, teaching, acting, building sets and projections. It’s a community, a huge machine, with many moving pieces. I’m lucky to be a part of it. We all are!” he says.
Michael has toured the world with music, singing around campfires in Alaska and subway platforms in New York City, as well as two European tours. He’s performed in children’s institutions from Chicago to Boston, on the stage in Baltimore and Connecticut, and along the turnpikes of Oklahoma.
With his band, The Wild Frontier, Michael has opened for Starship, Sawyer Brown, Tracy Lawrence, BJ Thomas, Sammy Kershaw, Joe Diffee, Aaron Tippin, Pam Tillis and Lorrie Morgan, and Ray Stevens.
He has recorded seven albums and written three musicals, including two children’s albums, JAMINALZ JAMZ A-Z with his kid’s band MICROgiant.
This versatile performer also has taught in the music and theatre programs at Oklahoma City University and Towson University.
Early in his career, he performed with venues ranging from the Fairbanks Shakespeare Theatre, to Baltimore’s Silver Penny Program, to the Goddard School and Chicago’s Windy City Players, to Oklahoma Children’s Theatre.
“ELF: The Musical” will be staged at 2 p.m. on Dec. 7, 8, 14 and 15 and at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 6, 7, 13 and 14 at the Sooner Theatre, 101 E. Main St., in Norman. Based on the beloved holiday film, this hilarious fish-out-of-water comedy follows Buddy the Elf in his quest to find his true identity. For tickets, please visit SoonerTheatre.org.
We hang stockings over the fireplace just after Halloween. We fill them with candy. Even for the cats. Last year the chocolate truffles melted, and it was a mess. This year, I’m about to be a father so we’ll make a stocking for our little girl, even though she isn’t alive yet. And no truffles for her!
My family gets together at my house, and we cook all day. Last year we started with French toast made from challah bread and a whiskey maple sauce. Then we started working on the Italian food. I made a rosemary lasagna. My brother made an Alfredo sauce, but it broke and was a little mealy… Too bad for Chris. (My mom said my French toast was the best breakfast she ever ate.)
When I was little, my Nana made a cornbread stuffing that was whipped into a texture like mashed potatoes. We’ve tried to recreate that over and over, but we never got it just right. She wrote down the recipe, but I never saw her use it. Handfuls of thyme, crackers, bread, celery and onions, so many ingredients, it was an art!
I have my own Christmas style. I have a black Christmas tree. With only red ornaments. And my holiday wrapping has been called “unconventional.” I’ll rip open a box of Cap’n crunch, stick the gift inside, wrap it in three kinds of tape and scrawl a name with a magic marker. Everyone knows when they get a gift from Michael.