Thoughts on Frozen the Musical

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Well, I was able to see the pre-Broadway tryout for Disney’s Frozen the Musical tonight. Here are my initial thoughts as I sit at home and sip a late night bourbon …

Overall I thought the musical was fantastic, Disney has done a superb job translating the story from animated movie to live action theater piece.  Patti Murin and Caissie Levy kill it as Elsa and Anna, with Caissie/Anna being a fantastic physical comedienne.  John Riddle as Hans is such lovable goofball that you forget that he’s the villain of the story until the Act II denouement … the audience literally gasped, as it seemed to come from nowhere ( even though if  you’ve seen the animated movie and you know it’s coming ).  If you have had the chance to see the Disney-park-lite version of Frozen at California Adventure then you’ve already seen Olaf, as he’s come straight over from that version, as a puppet a la Lion King. But the show stealers are Christoph and Sven, Jelani Alladin as Christoph and Andrew Pirozzi  (unrecognizable as Sven) are just a joy to watch. and when Sven tap dances … well … cuteness overload…. The rest of the cast brings their “A” game to the loosely-based Hans Christian Anderson story and Timothy Hughes as the King of the Mountain Folk/quasi narrator “Pabbie” brings a gravitas to his part along with a certain amount of eye-candy … ( you’ll have to wait to see what I mean … lol )

Now for some nit-picks. All-in-all, the first act seemed really rushed. I kind of thought the entire cast might have had to pee they whipped through the story and songs so fast that there was hardly a spot for applause after any of the first act songs.  The Act I closer, Let It Go, really needs another verse ( or two ) as Patti Murin is just getting onto the groove of the song when it just suddenly seems to end.  This being the out of town tryouts there were a few technical glitches in the effects, costumes not flying entirely off stage and having to be retrieved mid-song by the actors and tossed off stage and a missed lighting queue or two, but that’s to be expected.

The second act starts off rather odd, though fun, at Wandering Oakens Trading Post and the song Hygge ( or huug-a as it’s pronounced), with Oaken sounding like a cross  between Tim Conways Mr. Wiggins character and John Sigvard’s “Ole Olson” ( deep cut this ) and the entire cast in a Norwegian/Swedish sauna  doing a “naked”  fan dance with eucalyptus branches.  Again, odd, but rather endearing. This makes the rest of Act II a lot more fun and the cast really seems to come together and the story just flies by, with the ending being kept intact from the film that true-love doesn’t always come from where you expect it.

I’ll be really interested to see how this plays out when it finally reaches Broadway next winter and then eventually comes back to Denver in a few years.  I can imagine a few tweaks will really bring everything into tight focus and Disney will have another Beauty and the Beast on it’s hands … this will run for decades …

oh – and the Denver-centric merchandise is really cool ….

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Breathless – A film about the people, the places, and the heart and soul of Denver …

in case you want to know why i live where i do …

 

 

A project of Air Ball Creative for TEDxMileHigh. More information at airballcreative.com/. A film about the people, the places, and the heart and soul of Denver. Created in 45 days by two guys with the help of a few friends.

Directed and Produced by: Thaddeus Anderson and Woody Roseland
Poem written by: Ken Arkind
Narrated by: Theo Wilson
Music by: Dexter Britain

Thank you to the following:

BC Serna – Editing Assistant & Camera Operator
Josh Baker – Post Production/Camera Operator
Jeremy Miles – Color Correction/Helicopter Pilot
Brent Joyce – Audio Mixing
Troy Fairbanks – Skateboarder
Caulen Carlyle – Skateboarer
Micah Williams – Bike Rider

Lawrence Argent
Colorado Rockies – Jeff Donehoo
Denver Arts & Venues – Brian Kitts, Rudi Cerri & Jeanette Murrietta
Denver Broncos
Denver Cruisers – Stephen Jones
Denver Nuggets – Amy O’Brien, Tim Gelt
Giant Dancers – Jonathan Borofsky
Hampton Inn and Suites – David Admin
Linger – Peter Gordon
Sports Authority Field at Mile High Grounds Crew
Denver Public Art – Rude Ceri
Denver Botanical Gardens
Denver Beer Co

Edited on an 11″ Macbook Air