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The Almost In-Laws

Book and Lyrics by Greg Edwards, Music by Andy Roninson

Des has to introduce his fiancée to his parents, and they're, well... elves.



Cast Size

2m, 2f


11 Mins Approx.


A forest near Delaware. Not Christmastime




Christmas/Holiday, Fantasy


Family, Relationships, Acceptance, Marriage

Target Audience

Appropriate for all audiences


Contemporary Musical Theatre



Additional Resources

Accompaniment Tracks


Soon-to-be-married couple Des and Jennifer step out of the car so Jennifer can finally meet his parents for the first time. When Jennifer asks why they’re in the middle of a forest, Des explains that his parents… are elves. Yes, elves. They celebrate Christmas everyday, bake far too many cookies, and wear hats that jingle nonstop, and Des claims he couldn’t be more different “I AM NOT LIKE MY PARENTS.”


The couple approaches the family’s home (in a tree) and are greeted by Des’s parents, two overly sweet elves who are so excited to reminisce about Des’s favorite lullaby “HAPPY HAPPY ELF ELF” and find out more about his human fiancée. When they are perplexed by her human ways and suggest she find a real job like cobbling, Des points out that they are being “species-ist.” His parents are shocked by the accusation and claim it can’t possibly be true because “SOME OF OUR BEST FRIENDS” are people.

Des immediately pulls Jennifer outside and apologizes for his parents. But Jennifer wants Des to go back in and make things better “PARENTS ARE DUMB”. He knocks on the tree door, but his parents are too upset to let him back in. He resorts to singing through the door “HAPPY HAPPY ELF ELF - REPRISE” until his parents join in, won over by the sweet gesture. They embrace Jennifer too, accepting that even though she’s human, “at least you’re not a hobbit.”


Casting Information

  • DES - Late 20s, an average city-dwelling man, Jennifer’s fiancé.

  • JENNIFER -  Late 20s, a smart city-dwelling woman, Des’ fiancée.

  • MOTHER - Looks 50s, Des’ mother, matronly.

  • FATHER - Looks 50s, Des’ father, patronly.


Full Show
00:00 / 11:16
Some of Our Best Friends
00:00 / 01:53
Parents Are Dumb
00:00 / 01:32
Happy Happy Elf Elf (Reprise)
00:00 / 01:17
Casting & Songs



Production History

  • City Theatre's Summer Shorts

Date: May 31-July 1, 2018
Venue: Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Miami, FL


  • SOUND BITES 5.0, Theatre Now New York

Date: May 21, 2018
Venue: Signature Theatre Center, New York, NY
*The Almost In-Laws won Best Musical at the Sound Bites festival.


  • Take a Ten Musicals Podcast

Date: August 1, 2015
Venue: and associated podcast feeds.

Author Bios

Illustrated Mountains

GREG EDWARDS wrote the script for Application Pending (Off-Broadway, Drama Desk nomination) and Craving for Travel (Off-Broadway); lyrics for Neurosis (Off-Broadway), and book and lyrics for Evelyn Shaffer and the Chance of a Lifetime (Samuel French OOB Festival winner, City Theatre National Award for Short Playwriting, Take a Ten Podcast). Greg’s essays appear in Avidly (LA Review of Books) and McSweeney’s, and his game Jessica Plunkenstein and the Dusseldorf Conspiracy (NYT “Best Adventure Game of the Year”) was published by PC Gamer UK. Greg is an alumnus of Yale (Phi Beta Kappa), the BMI Workshop (Harrington Award), and the Dramatists Guild Fellows.

Illustrated Mountains

ANDY RONINSON is a composer, lyricist, orchestrator, and music director living in New York City. He is a recipient of the 2019 Jonathan Larson Grant, a 2019-2020 Dramatists Guild Foundation Fellow, and a participant in the 2017 Johnny Mercer Foundation Songwriters Project. As a member of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Writing Workshop, he was awarded the Robert B. Sherman Scholarship and the Harrington Award for Creative Excellence. For more, visit He is the creator, host, and co-writer of TAKE A TEN, the all-original ten-minute musical podcast. Recorded episodes featured Broadway voices like Laura Osnes, Rob McClure, George Salazar, and more. Episodes have been produced live around the world and have won numerous awards including Best Musical twice at Theater Now’s SOUND BITES Festival, the 2016 City Theater National Award for Short Playwriting, and the top place at the Samuel French Off-Off-Broadway Short Play Festival. To hear every episode for free, visit

Illustrated Mountains
Author's Bios
Production History
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