Today thousands of fans made the trek to Disney California Adventure to be able to see Frozen – Live at the Hyperion on its opening day. The show, a musical retelling of the Disney animated feature, quickly ran out of Fastpasses in the morning and a standby line formed for those hoping to see the show.
Seeing that the Fastpasses were gone and the standby line looked long, I did not expect to be seeing Frozen – Live at the Hyperion today. I especially did not expect to see the first public showing at 1:00 PM. However, fate was kind and as I stood in front of the Hyperion Theater with my friend Victoria, a random stranger gave us Fastpasses for the show 15 minutes before it was to begin! Soon after, we found ourselves sitting in the center of the balcony waiting for the show to begin.
Frozen – Live at the Hyperion follows the storyline of the movie fairly closely. The biggest changes that stood out to me actually provided a little more clarity to the storyline and cleared up some points that were a bit vague in the movie. All this being said, there weren’t a LOT of surprises in the story. That doesn’t mean there weren’t surprises though. Throughout the show, there were lots of surprises to be had in the way the story was told that left the audience gasping at times, laughing at others, and cheering.
The performances were very enjoyable to watch, with some of the characters definitely standing out. It comes as no surprise that Olaf was definitely a hit. Already a crowd favorite, he garnered even more laughter and love when his nose appeared to accidentally fall off and a member of the audience had to help return it. The Duke of Weselton was also quite humorous. The lead characters all did their jobs and I really enjoyed how they played up Anna’s idiosyncrasies. And we cannot forget Sven. He was definitely another star in the show and the way he was brought to life in an awesome way!
Vocally, the entire cast did a good job. There were a few moments that might not have been perfect. For the most part, it was very enjoyable to listen to. My favorite musical moment was probably during the coronation scene where a choir sang the introduction to Elsa’s coronation. The arrangements for this show felt natural, keeping the spirit of the show while also helping keep it from being as long as the movie.
One star of the show that wasn’t even a real character had to have been the stage itself. Throughout Frozen – Live at the Hyperion, several new effects were utilized. I will admit that I was a little nervous when I found out how many projection effects were being utilized for this show. Thankfully, the moment I sat down in the theater I could tell that they were going to be different and they would be magical. Waiting for the show, we (and others around us) were talking about the set (projection) and how fantastic it looked. It was really surprising and beautiful. It also didn’t take over the story but instead enhanced the story that was being told by the actors on the stage.
Frozen – Live at the Hyperion is now playing daily at the Hyperion Theater. This is not Aladdin, and it thankfully doesn’t try to be. It is a unique show that is telling its own story in its own way. That was a very good choice to make. I went into this show really not knowing what to expect. I’m not a huge Frozen fan (let’s face it, I’m not exactly the demographic for it) but I do like Disney stage productions. Throughout the show I found myself smiling, laughing, and genuinely enjoying the performance. As the lights came up at the end, both my friend Victoria and I commented on how enjoyable it was. Walking outside I overheard many other fans saying the same thing. Some actually sounded shocked by how much they enjoyed it. All that to say, this is a good addition to the entertainment lineup at the Disneyland Resort. It carries on the legacy of solid shows at the Hyperion Theater and easily earns a hat tip. I am looking forward to going back and seeing it again, next time with my camera. Love is an open door and I foresee the doors staying open for quite some time for Frozen – Live at the Hyperion.