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‘Frozen,’ A New Theatrical Experience, Comes To Disney’s California Adventure

Posted: Tuesday, May 31, 2016 – 6:13 PM

By Chelsea Cutler

Frozen: Live At The Hyperion is a new type of theatre experience—beautiful, exciting and innovative. Audience members could hardly contain themselves as the show began with amazing moving cartoon projections, akin to the ride “Soaring Over California” or “Star Tours.”

Director Liesl Tommy (Eclipsed on Broadway) and her team were incredibly creative in transferring Frozen to the stage. It was very much like the cartoon down to glances, reactions from the actors, and physical movement of the characters, but there were aspects that were organic to the stage production.

The musical supervisor/arranger/adaptor changed solos from the film into ensemble pieces—repurposing songs. Choreographer Christopher Windom instilled emotion and inflections into every dance enabling each person on stage to reflect what was happening in dialogue.

As for the actors…

• Olaf (snowman) and Sven (reindeer) are the stars of this show and simply amazing. These two are puppeteering and acting at the same time, much like Avenue Q. Sven doesn’t speak, but the puppet is fascinating to watch and his “actor” is just as much fun. Olaf has all the best lines in the show that make you laugh out loud and swoon for example, “Some people are worth melting for.”

• The Duke of Weselton is devilishly comedic.

• Anna is adorable, strong, and a heroine.

The likeablility factor of adult Elsa has always eluded me both in the film and in the show as she comes across as cold…really cold. Frozen is based on Hans Christian Andersen’s beloved fairytale The Snow Queen and to make Elsa more relatable and soften her image the creators of the Disney film made Anna, the protagonist, and the Snow Queen, Elsa, sisters. That being said, her bold, magical, goose-bump worthy performance of Let It Go is spectacular.

There are tricks and stunts such as people flying through the air or a jacket that turns into a billowy, veil-like cape that the audience is completely taken with, erupting into cheers at least once every three minutes of this smart, well thought-out production.

Frozen is only an hour—you’re getting the Cliff Notes version of the film, it’s pink and purple, and it’s Disney-fied theatre. It’s the Easy-Bake Oven of Broadway…in a good way and it’s delicious.

If you’re at Disneyland, specifically at California Adventure Park, and you want to be entertained by 24 awesomely cartoonish, lovable actors, I highly recommend you see this stunning show. Take your children, grandchildren, your friends…or if you’re like Elsa, go be on your own. Either way, it’ll lift you up so that you’re as light as a snowflake.

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