Critics give warm welcome to Frozen musical pre-Broadway

Frozen actors John Riddle, Caissie Levy, Patti Murin and Jelani AlladinImage copyright Disney
Image caption John Riddle, Caissie Levy, Patti Murin and Jelani Alladin play the lead roles

Do you want to build a snowman – again? According to reviews of a pre-Broadway staging of Disney’s new musical Frozen, the answer is largely yes.

Based on the hit 2013 animated feature, the musical has opened in Denver ahead of its New York launch in February.

Directed by Britain’s Michael Grandage, the show is a loose adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen.

And according to Variety critic Lisa Kennedy, the results are both “crisp and original”.

“The musical’s reported development budget of $25m [£18.3m] to $30m [£22m] has been well-spent,” she writes.

“The creators have added heft and gravitas without making the story darker or scarier… [and] the ensemble sings beautifully.”

Image copyright Disney
Image caption Frozen grossed more than $1.2 billion (£883 million) at the global box office

Set in the fantasy northern realm of Arendelle, Frozen tells of two sisters whose relationship is tested when one reveals she has magical snow-creating powers.

The film won two Oscars in 2014 – one for best animated feature, and another for its stand-out song Let It Go.

The musical includes that and other songs from the original film – among them Do You Want to Build a Snowman? – while adding more than 10 new numbers.

Caissie Levy plays Elsa while Patti Murin plays her sibling Anna – who spends the show torn between dashing prince Hans (John Riddle) and ice seller Kristoff (Jelani Alladin).

“Charming characters, a built-in audience and hummable tunes make Frozen a no-brainer for Broadway,” wrote Deborah Wilker in the Hollywood Reporter.

In her opinion, though, the show could do with “a little less gravitas” – and she also questioned the way Olaf the Snowman was portrayed by a puppet attached to an actor’s body.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Grandage directs the show while his partner Christopher Oram (left) has designed the costumes

“Best to put an actor inside a costume or a true puppeteer in the rafter,” she suggests. “Pick one.”

Writing in the Chicago Tribune, Chris Jones called the production “very cautious and emotionally underwhelming”.

“Grandage’s production takes no bold leaps… nor are there significant narrative shifts,” he went on, saying the show “should be – and could be – a whole lot better”.

“Sometimes charming, sometimes awesome, sometimes lumbering,” was the verdict of the New York Times’ Jesse Green.

“Already much is right: the supporting cast is charming, the singing spectacular, the simpler effects… successful.

“But, like Wicked before it, Frozen is going to have to figure how to make the dark character less of a bore and the light character more compelling.”

Frozen: The Musical runs at Denver’s Center for the Performing Arts until 1 October. It will then run at the St James Theatre in New York from 22 February.

View the original article:

Follow us on Facebook, on Twitter @BBCNewsEnts, or on Instagram at bbcnewsents. If you have a story suggestion email

In the same category are

Liz Dawn: Coronation Street’s Vera Duckworth dies Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Liz Dawn played Vera Duckworth on Coronation Street for 34 years Coronation Street actress Liz Dawn, wh...
Has Jon Ashworth changed mind on PFI? Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell announced on Monday that Private Finance Initiative (PFI) contracts would be brought "in-house" if Labour won power.B...
Newmarket Racecourse music events ‘not for children’ Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Little Mix A racecourse which received complaints about aggression and drunkenness after it staged a Li...
Labour’s Jon Ashworth calls for £500m NHS winter bailout Image copyright PA Labour is calling on the government to spend an extra £500m on a winter bailout fund for the NHS in England.Shadow health secreta...
Vegetative-state patient responds to therapy Image copyright Corazzol et al Image caption The scan shows the man's brain activity before (L) and after (R) the treatment A man in France has re...
UK energy has ‘greenest’ summer to date, National Grid says Image copyright Getty Images More than half the UK's electricity came from low carbon sources this summer, the National Grid says, making it the "gr...

Dont forget to “Like” us on Facebook

Need something to share, visit our sister site for the

‘News in the last 30 days”

in a clear concise package ….


If you are an artist or interested in art, visit our art website and read about todays artscene and browse some of our artist profiles