THE TWO DISNEY SISTERS HAVE FINALLY ARRIVED TO CREATE ICE CASTLES AND SPECTACLE
THE MUSICAL VERSION OF ‘FROZEN’ HAS DEPTH, DARKNESS AND MORE HEART THAN THE FILM. ITS THE PERFECT HOLIDAY TREAT “LET IT GO”
Review by Vince Mediaa
The air sometimes feels cold and icy in downtown San Francisco as BroadwaySF presents the National Tour of FROZEN now on stage at the Orpheum Theatre through December 30th. The two famous Disney sisters Elsa and Anna deal with their family issues in a classic icy heartwarming tale. FROZEN the theatrical adaptation of the blockbuster Disney animated film. The journey from screen to stage is created and directed by Tony honored Michael Grandage. His musical version of Disney’s animated smash hit is almost identical to the film in terms of plot. With a book by Jennifer Lee, and music and lyrics by Keisten and Robert Lopez, the ice magic steals this fantasy. This is a little closer to ‘The Snow Queen’, the Hans Christian Andersen tale that it’s based upon.
I liked Grandage’s more serious spin, that includes new and old songs from the film’s original writers, the Lopez team. To the delight of the young fans the talking snowman and the elegant reindeer is still part of this stage version, with a different loving spin. It is a dazzling spectacle that the young fans will love. The many youngsters in the sold out opening night crowd, dressed in their princess best become an important part of the show. The lively crowd of young fans in the audience bring this musical its icy charm. But adults will see a more serious, sadder and wiser theme than the film. It is more of a character-driven story including meeting Kristoff the rugged mountain man played by Dominic Dorset.
This is more focused on the relationship between the sensitive Elsa and loveable sister Anna. The sisters played by Lauren Chapmen and Caroline Bowman both have gifted voices. The story involves more about their lives in the royal palace as they grew up, first as best friends, then separated by their helicopter parents. Elsa's magical powers grow stronger; she almost kills her six-year-old sister Anna. Bowman stops the show in the classic banner hit “Let it Go” as the ice magic on stage brings the audience to their feet to close the first act.
It’s a more satisfying arc, and the narrative based new songs – ‘Love Is an Open Door’ or the iconic “‘Do You Want to Build a Snowman?’ follow the sisters’ relationship. Set and costume designer Christopher Oram and video designer Finn Ross have created a digital vision of a fairy-tale Scandinavia, a mix of medieval buildings and icy wilderness. Elsa’s transformation from disaffected royal to ice queen belting out ‘Let It Go’ is an icy spectacle of stage magic.
The loveable animated snowman Olaf is brought to life with great flawless by performer Jeremy Davis and puppet designer Michael Curry. The young fans cheer as Olaf enters and brings on “In Summer” his favorite time of the year. The snowman subtext remains a mixture of both sisters as revealed in the first scene. But the puppet character is up staged by the Anna and Elsa ark and the beautiful ballet from Sven the reindeer. Sven is performed by Collin Baja and Dan Plehal and they stop the show when the reindeer is on stage.
The songs are superb, presenting this fairy-tale romances, Anna’s love triangle with the noble Hans and the loveable ice merchant Kristoff keep the story moving. Both sisters are neither right or wrong and this keeps the real from most fairy tale heroes. This is a thoughtful, and frosty spin that presents what audiences want from ‘FROZEN', that makes it a little closer to ‘The Snow Queen’.
This may be a bit darker than the animated version but it remains magical and warms the hearts of any age in the audience. As the two sisters rekindle their love the kids in the audience were on their feet first at the shows end. This musical is a definite holiday treat and will run through the end of December. BroadwaySF wants as many families to afford to see this Disney classic - so they are promoting the 40.00 rush seats. I want to mention if you bring your youngsters that you make sure they have seat cushions so they can see the stage. Ask any usher to direct you to the pile of seat risers for children. “Do You Want to Build a Snowman” come dressed warm as the ice crystals need your warm cheers.
Written by Jennifer Lee
Music and lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez.
Directed by Michael Grandage.
Chorographer Rob Ashford
MUST CLOSE DEC 30th
1192 Market St., S.F.
The show runs 2 hours and 15 minutes and one intermission
Tickets: BroadwaySF.com 888-746-1799, www.broadwaysf.com
PHOTO CREDIT: / BroadwaySF DEEN VAN MEER. © Disney
IN-PERSON RUSH TICKETS
A limited number of $40 Rush tickets will be available for every performance beginning 2 hours prior to curtain at the Orpheum Theatre Box Office. Tickets are subject to availability. Cash or credit. 2 per person. Rush tickets are void if resold.
MOBILE RUSH TICKETS
Download the TodayTix app in the iOS App Store or Google Play Store to unlock the Rush ticketing feature by sharing a post on social through the app. Check back in the app at 9am for access to exclusive day-of $40 Rush tickets for every performance.