Disney’s FROZEN Proves The Power of SisterhoodCaroline Bowman and Caroline Innerbichler in Disney's Frozen. Photo Credit: Deen van Meer
To dismiss the recently relaunched national tour of Disney’s Frozen as just another film to stage adaptation would be a great injustice. From the moment Beauty and the Beast hit the Broadway stage in 1994, the theatrical arm of the mega studio made a conscious decision allow the adaptations a creative life of their own resulting in some of the best stage musicals ever created. Frozen is no exception.
Based on Han Christian Anderson’s The Snow Queen, Frozen quickly became one the studios most profitable animated features when it premiered in 2013, helped no doubt by Idina Menzel’s soaring vocals and what became the show’s anthem, Let It Go. The stage version, which opened on Broadway in 2018, is a darker more layered adaptation, closer to Anderson’s version than its animated counterpart.
In bringing Frozen to the stage, Disney Theatrical has once again assembled some of the best creative talents in musical theatre. Directed by Michael Grandage with a book by Jennifer Lee, a score by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez and Rob Ashford’s dazzling choreography, Frozen straddles that fine line giving younger theatergoers relatable characters they have come to know from animation while giving more seasoned patrons a story the explores socio-economic issues, family dynamics and prejudice. The heart of Frozen beats with the relationship between the love of two sisters, Anna and Elsa, who are separated from each other by over protective parents and their journey to reunite.
The cast of this tour is sensational. Caroline Innerbichler breaths so much humanity into Anna that you are invested from the moment she hits the stage. Ms. Innerbichler’s comedy timing is spot on topped by her crystal clear vocals that soar through the theatre. As Elsa, Caroline Bowman is equally as thrilling, tackling the difficult vocals with ease. (Although this should come as no surprise for those who saw Ms. Bowman in the national tour of the Grandage helmed Evita tour a few years back). Ms. Bowman’s powerhouse rendition of Let It Go at the end of the first act is brilliantly infused with multi-layered inner conflict that transforms the character.
As iceman Kristoff, Mason Reeves oozes charm and instant likability. Kristoff’s reindeer Sven is brought to life by the outstanding puppetry of Collin Baja. And then there is F. Michael Haynie’s Olaf, who I believe could have filled the theatre on his own.
By the time it came for the opening night curtain call, which was met with a rousing extended standing ovation, it was clear that Frozen delivered a multi-generational crowd pleaser and deserves it place as one Disney’s best.
Frozen plays through March 6, 2022 at The Dr. Phillips Center For The Performing Arts, 445 S. Magnolia Avenue, Orlando, Florida. For tickets and more information, visit drphillipscenter.org