Frozen: The Hit Broadway Musical is now showing at the Pantages Theatre. This musical is adapted for the stage from the original hit animated film from 2013. It retells the story, with a few tweaks and added songs, it builds on the heart of the film. This particular show at the Pantages Theatre also introduces a new song between Elsa and Anna. I Can’t Lose You is a duet between the two sisters that replaces a reprise in the second act of For the First Time in Forever. I had the opportunity to see this show on Thursday, December 5th after spending some time with the President of Disney Theatrical Productions Thomas Schumacher as he shared about his book How Does the Show Go On: An Introduction to the Theater (article coming soon!). The show exceeded my expectations and is a fun musical for the whole family to go and see together.
Frozen: The Hit Broadway Musical had a solid cast. Elsa was portrayed by Caroline Bowman and Anna by Caroline Innerbichler. Both of them embodied their characters beautifully. Bowman showed the despair and torment that Elsa goes through as she tries to figure out her powers and faces the unknown alone. Innerbichler brought to life the spirit, innocence, and vibrancy of Anna. Throughout the course of the show, they both grew as characters in ways that were believable both separately and then relationally with each other as well. Mason Reeves as Kristoff brought both heart and humor to the character. F. Michael Haynnie’s Olaf was charming and humorous. The rest of the cast that joined them gave solid performances that were enjoyable and often humorous. This is a solidly cast show with solid vocal talent and acting that matched the musical talent.
The music for this show is really enjoyable. I will admit to having some Frozen fatigue from hearing Let It Go seemingly everywhere over the last few years. However, Bowman’s Elsa singing it had the entire theater spellbound. The show is full of familiar songs, but there are also some that aren’t in the animated film. These extra songs fit in wonderfully and add to the emotion of the story as it unfolds. I Can’t Lose You is a lovely duet between Anna and Elsa that has both sisters exclaiming their love for each other from different perspectives. Each is unwilling to lose the other, and each has a different approach on how to protect the other.
Other songs of note included A Little Bit of You, Hygge, Kristoff’s Lullaby, and Monster. There were others that were added as well but those are the ones that stood out to me as I made my way home. All in all, I really enjoyed the music for the show and didn’t find myself disliking any of the songs. I also liked the reprise of Let It Go at the end of the show. The Stage
It was interesting seeing Frozen: The Hit Broadway Musical after having recently watched Frozen 2. I haven’t watched the original film in quite some time but seeing the sequel recently, I felt fairly familiar with the content. I honestly had zero expectations going into the Pantages Theatre beyond the assumption that the quality would be high because it is a Disney theatrical production.
Within seconds of the show starting, I was quickly aware that this is a show that is special. As things continued, I found myself getting pulled in more and more. As cliche as it sounds, this is a musical that is full of Disney magic. It is quite similar to the original movie, but it isn’t just the movie made into a Broadway musical. Instead, the movie was a foundation that they continued to build on as they created this Broadway musical. The added elements to the film added depth to the first film and also connected more dots with the second. Multiple times throughout the show I found myself recognizing something that connected the original film with the sequel. It is really cool to see how the story of these two sisters developed from the original movie to the musical, to now the sequel.
Frozen: The Hit Broadway Musical is a musical that I would actually like to go and see again. It does several things that I think are crucial for a musical to do that is going to have wide appeal. First off, it tells a good story. In this case, it tells a story that has been built and polished from the original animated film. Second, it takes the audience on an emotional journey. This was rather impressive as I’m fairly certain most of the people in the Pantages Theatre have at the very least seen the movie once and are fairly familiar with it. However, there were multiple times throughout the show that the audience was laughing, cheering, or silent as the emotion was felt and shared in the room. Finally, it leaves the audience with something to carry with them as they leave the doors. In this case, it is a message of love.
At the end of the show, walking out of the theater into the lobby, there were smiles everywhere. Frozen: The Hit Broadway Musical has earned its popularity because it is a solid show. It has some incredible special effects, a solid cast, great music, and perhaps most important… it’s fun! This is definitely a show worth catching if you can! I know I’d like to see it again!
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