Based on the hit 2013 Disney movie, Frozen the Broadway Musical was destined to be a hit even if it hadn’t been shown yet. After all, the movie is one of the most famous animated films of all time, and the songs are simply ubiquitous. Thus, when Disney announced that there would be a Broadway musical based on everyone’s favorite estranged sisters and their icy kingdom, everybody knew that they needed to watch the musical. From its initial Broadway run in 2018 until today, the musical remains well-loved by many theatre-goers all around the country –– especially by children, needless to say. This June, Texas will experience the Frozen Fever as the famous Broadway ensemble will perform a series of shows in Houston’s Sarofim Hall from June 30 to July 17. Step into the world of Frozen and be dazzled by the magic that will simply take your breath away!
“The Hottest Snow on Broadway!” – VANITY FAIR
“You’ve Never Seen FROZEN Like This!” – GOOD MORNING AMERICA
“A Can’t-Miss Broadway Event!” – NBC
Before premiering on Broadway in March 2018, Frozen the Musical had a tryout at the Buell Theatre in Denver, Colorado, in August 2017. The show garnered some mixed reviews and reactions, but the majority were in agreement with how it was beautifully crafted. The official opening on Broadway followed the year after at the St. James Theatre on March 22, 2018. The cast and creative team were the same as in Denver. Broadway stars Caissie Levy and Patti Murin played the princesses Elsa and Anna. The cast included Jelani Alladin as Kristoff, Greg Hildreth as Olaf, and John Riddle as Prince Hans. It was directed by Michael Grandage, artistic director of the Michael Grandage Company.
It was reported that 30% of the show was rewritten between the tryout and the Broadway opening because Disney wanted to lean toward a more mature audience. Strange as it may sound, this is intentional as Disney’s statistic revealed that 70% of the audience for its musicals are adults without children.
The initial Broadway run was a massive success. Most rave reviews were geared towards praising the production’s special effects and onstage technology, which wowed audiences. The impressive visuals included lighting effects for Elsa’s magic, as well as a full-body costume to represent the reindeer Sven, with a ballet dancer inside holding stilts in his hands and walking on tiptoe. All these bedazzled spectators, who couldn’t contain their happiness while watching the said musical. Needless to say, it was a massive hit. As a result, its run was extended, and the production played over 800 performances from 2018 to 2020 –– 825, to be exact. This number could have been higher if the pandemic did not hit. Unfortunately, the run needed to stop due to COVID 19. The production was suspended on March 11, 2020.
“Warmth and humor pervade Frozen, breathing theatrical life into a POP CULTURE PHENOMENON about the enduring power of love.” – VARIETY
“‘Let It Go’ is a SHOWSTOPPER IF THERE EVER WAS ONE.” – THE NEW YORK TIMES
In its aim to bring the world-class production of Frozen the Musical all over the country, the Broadway production tour was slated. On November 10, 2019, the tour began at Proctor’s Theatre in Schenectady, New York, starring Caroline Bowman as Elsa. Unfortunately, it was also abruptly stopped due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The tour reopened at Shea’s Performing Arts Center in Buffalo, New York, on September 9, 2021. The West End production of the musical also took place after the restrictions from the pandemic were lifted. Directed by Michael Grandage, the show began previews on August 27, 2021, at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, in London’s West End, and opened officially on September 8. The production was nominated for 4 Laurence Olivier Awards in 2022, including Best New Musical and Best Actress in a Musical for Stephanie McKeon, who played Anna in the musical.
In addition to the US and West End production, the musical also has an Australia, Tokyo, and Hamburg productions. The Australian production opened on July 14, 2021, and closed on January 26, 2022. Tokyo’s, on the other hand, has been moved several times due to the pandemic but eventually opened on June 24, 2021, at the Haru Theatre owned by Shiki Theatre Company. Finally, the German production opened in November 2021 at the Stage Theater an der Elbe in Hamburg with Sabrina Weckerlin as Elsa and Celena Pieper as Anna.
It’s still a dazzling spectacle that the film’s legions of kiddie fans will love. But adults will note that it’s more serious, sadder and wiser than the film. Some New York critics didn’t seem to be entirely happy with this when it opened on Broadway in 2018, criticising it for being dour. But I liked Grandage’s more melancholy spin, which is written by the film’s screenwriter and director Jennifer Lee, with new songs (and old songs) from the film’s songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez. To be clear, the talking snowman and the goofy reindeer are still in it, but it does land a bit differently.
In particular, it feels like less of an ensemble piece and more focused on the relationship between Samantha Barks’s troubled, sensitive Elsa and Stephanie McKeon’s loveable goofball sister Anna. There’s more about their lives in the royal palace where they grew up, first as best friends, and then kept separate by their over-protective parents after Elsa’s growing magical powers almost kill a six-year-old Anna. Although it clearly has a lot to do with holding off That Song until the end of the first half, the pivotal scene in which Elsa raises her ice palace takes place a full half-hour further in than it does in the film: it makes for a more character-driven start.
This isn’t ‘Frozen’ for adults, a dark new take on ‘Frozen’, or a radical reinvention by spectacle like ‘The Lion King’. But it’s a thoughtful, attractive and human spin that manages to balance a Drury Lane-size spectacle with recognising what audiences want from ‘Frozen’, and subtly bringing it a little closer to ‘The Snow Queen’. If the film is a pre-school classic, the musical is maybe a couple of years more grown-up. But its most magical moments will wow every age group.An Excert from Andrzej Lukowski review on “Time Out”
“Joyous and triumphant! Wonderful! A really magical experience.” – ABC NEWS
“It will give you chills! Amazing special effects, eye-popping costumes and incredible performances.” – NEWSDAY
This musical extravaganza about estranged sisters, an icy kingdom, and unharnessed supernatural powers will arrive at Houston, Texas’s Sarofim Hall this June 30 and will end on July 17. So be sure you plan your summer events, mark your calendars, and don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see this dazzling Broadway musical. Click on the “Get Tickets” button to secure your Frozen Musical tickets!