One of my main hobbies and interests (besides Disney!) is musical theater! I do a lot of community theater productions, and it’s always exciting when Disney and theater cross paths. Just last summer I was in a production of Beauty and the Beast at a local theater. I’ve also gone to see many Disney shows on Broadway, including the one I’m talking about today: Frozen.
When I saw Frozen on Broadway I totally fell in love with the new songs that were written for the stage, including one sung by Elsa called Monster. The past few years I have participated in a fundraiser event called Broadway in Berwyn at a local theater. Everyone in it sings a few songs from different Broadway musicals, so when I was selected to be in it again this year I knew I had to make Monster one of the songs I was performing! The production runs this weekend on Friday night, Saturday night, and Sunday afternoon and it’s done by Footlighters Theater in the Philadelphia suburb area, so if you’re in Eastern PA consider coming out to see it! In addition to the song from Frozen I’m doing a song from 9 to 5 and two group numbers. Some of the other performers are also doing numbers from Disney musicals, including True Love from Frozen and A Change in Me from Beauty and the Beast.
In honor of the production and all things Frozen I figured I would do another post about a Broadway Musical and focus on Frozen and I hope to make it a regular series – Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King have seen the most time on Broadway, but there’s also been productions of The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Frozen, Mary Poppins, and even the Hunchback of Notre Dame.
The movie Frozen came out in November of 2013, and it immediately saw huge success: all the evidence said this one was going to be a huge hit that lasted for awhile. Because of this the talks to bring it to Broadway started pretty early on. In fact, Bob Iger stated in January 2014 that they were thinking of bringing it to Broadway. With the score that lends itself well to a stage musical it was no surprise.
Previews began on February 22nd, 2018 and the show officially opened on March 22nd, 2018. The opening cast included Cassie Levy as Elsa, Patti Murin as Anna, Jelani Alladin as Kristoff, John Riddle as Hans, and Greg Hidreth as Olaf. As of right now (December 2018) they are all still currently performing those roles on Broadway.
All of the songs that were in the movie were retained for the Broadway show (Do You Want to Build a Snowman?, For the First Time in Forever, Love is an Open Door, Reindeer(s) are Better than People, In Summer, Let it Go, For the First Time in Forever (reprise), and Fixer Upper).
A whole bunch of new songs were written for the Broadway show. In the beginning are a couple of numbers that don’t stand out quite as much called “Let the Sun Shine On,” “A Little Bit of You,” and “Hidden Folk.” In addition to his duet with Anna Hans has one major song, which he also reprises several times, called “Hans of the Southern Isles.” Kristoff also has an added lullaby in Act 2, and a new duet with Anna.
But there are a bunch of new songs which I totally love! At the top of the list, not surprisingly, is “Monster,” which Elsa sings in Act 2 when she is debating whether it is right for her to run away and if she truly is a Monster. My other favorite is Kristoff and Anna’s duet called “What Do You Know about Love?” And if you want a hilarious song, “Hygge” (sung by Oaken!) was just too funny! “Dangerous to Dream” sung by Elsa and “True Love” sung by Anna are two other new songs that are very good.
The musical is pretty close to the movie, though some things and themes are expanded on. One of the most notable differences is that instead of having the trolls they have them as “mountain people” – presumably because that’s much easier to depict on stage without extensive costuming and makeup. The mountain people also have very long tails. That was a bit of an odd choice but it was kinda cool looking too. And there were a lot of extra jokes thrown in. Interestingly, a lot of butt jokes. Like, Anna talked about butts a lot more than I expected. And Olaf made a couple of jokes about his rear part too.
Frozen was nominated for 3 Tony Awards, though they didn’t win any of them. The three nominations were for Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, and Best Original Score written for the Theatre. They did win one Drama Desk award for Outstanding Puppet Design.
One character who is notably missing from the stage version? Marshmallow, Elsa’s somewhat evil and yet still lovable snow monster.
The same team who wrote the book and music/lyrics for the movie were on board for the musical as well – Jennifer Lee wrote the script and the husband/wife team of Kirsten Anderson Lopez and Robert Lopez did all of the new music and lyrics.
While Elsa wears her famous blue dress, in the second act she actually switches it out for a pair of pants – complete with cape, of course!
Sven and Olaf are still included in the show, but they are done with complex puppets.
Have you seen or heard Frozen on Broadway? Which new song is your favorite?