EVER since the Disney movie “Frozen” came out in 2013, everyone has sung along and learned the words to songs like “Let it Go” or “Do You Want To Build a Snowman?” Six years later, one may assume that we’d collectively be tired of these tunes.
The Broadway production of “Frozen” has made its way to Los Angeles’ Pantages and judging by the enthusiasm of the crowd on opening night, that’s not the case.
The story of princess sisters Elsa (Caroline Bowman) and Anna (Caroline Innerbichler), their band of friends like the magical snowman Olaf (F. Michael Haynie) and Kristoff (Mason Reeves), and the musical numbers along the way are still as captivating as ever.
The cast is also comprised of Austin Colby (Bowman’s husband) as Hans, Jeremy Morse as Weselton, Collin Baja and Evan Strand alternating as Sven, as well as Stella Cobb (Young Anna), Alyssa Kim (Young Elsa), Jaiden Klein (Young Elsa), and Arwen Monzon-Sanders (Young Anna).
The songs you know from the original Oscar-winning film are still very much central to the story, plus an expanded score with a dozen new numbers by the film’s songwriters, Oscar winner Kristen Anderson-Lopez and EGOT winner Robert Lopez. Joining them on a creative team that has won a cumulative 16 Tony Awards are Oscar winner Jennifer Lee (book), Tony and Olivier Award winner Michael Grandage (director), and Tony winner Rob Ashford (choreographer).
Whether you’ve seen the animated “Frozen” film once or hundreds of times, the stage production does not fail to enchant. The elaborate stage design and effects bring the kingdom of Arendalle to life and transform it into an eternal winter. You can’t help but watch in the moment and literally let go of anticipating what comes next in the story.
One particular question was how the character of Olaf would translate on stage. He’s a puppet voiced by Haynie and while it can be a off-putting at first wondering whether to stare at the puppet or the man himself, Olaf still comes across as the comedic and naive, yet lovable snowman that is a “little bit of Anna and a little bit of Elsa.”
The end of Act One culminates in the iconic “Let It Go” number with Elsa recognizing and owning her special icy powers. Right before our eyes, she switches into her sparkly baby blue gown. It’s one of the moments that makes the “Frozen” musical worth seeing.
Other standout numbers include Anna’s “For The First Time in Forever,” her duet with Hans in “Love Is An Open Door,” and Elsa’s climactic “Monster” in Act Two.
The musical comes to LA at the right time of year as the temperatures drop and the holidays will bring together family, reminding us that an act of true love — the everlasting bond between Elsa and Anna is seemingly more relatable and stronger seeing real people act it out — can thaw a frozen heart.
“Frozen” will be at the Pantages until February 2, 2020 with performances Tuesday to Friday at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., and Sundays at 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Children ages 6 and up. All patrons must have a ticket, regardless of age.