During the 2013 holidays Disney unleashed one of its “Animated Canon” feature films, loosely based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale “The Snow Queen”. From its rather serious and dramatic source, the House of Mouse crafted “Frozen”, a magical musical about sisterly love that subjected poor parents to endless repeats of one of the catchiest songs ever sung by children in history. Another point of discussion about the movie was the “certain possibility” that it would eventually be adapted into a Broadway musical, reinforced by the fact that the lead actresses Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel have performed there. Now fans can wonder no more about when the “Frozen” musical will hit Broadway; it’s on for 2018. And while the voice actresses won’t be reprising, the production has managed to find replacements.
Entertainment Weekly reports that Disney Theatrical Productions, which oversees stage adaptations of the House of Mouse’s animated film properties, has announced their casting choices for Princess Anna and Queen Elsa of Arendelle this Monday April 17. The bubbly and innocent Anna will be played by Patti Murin while her older sister, the secluded and ice magic-wielding Elsa will be portrayed by Caissie Levy. It’s expected that the “Frozen” musical will get a trial run this summer in Denver, before going on full clout in New York City’s St. James Theatre in the spring of 2018. They will be joined in the primary cast by Jelani Alladin as Kristoff, Greg Hildreth as Olaf the snowman, John Riddle as Prince Hans, and Robert Creighton as the Duke of Weselton.
The talent credits of both Murin and Levy coming into their new roles are impeccable. Murin has been in the stage adaptation of “Xanadu”, as well as “Lysistrata Jones”. Levy on the other hand was in the original and reprising roles for “Ghost”, then “Hair” and “Les Miserables”. Even better, both of them have also appeared in the “Wicked” musical, though at different times, with Murin as Glinda and Levy as Elphaba, a role she has in common with Elsa’s voice actress Menzel.
“Frozen” on Broadway looks to bring back people who worked on the film, with co-director and screenwriter Jennifer Lee working on the theatrical book, along with music and lyrics from composers Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez. Choreography will be handled by Tony Awardee Rob Ashford of “Thoroughly Modern Millie”, taking over from the originally announced Christopher Gattelli of “Newsies”. This will reunite Ashford with the “Frozen” musical’s director Michael Grandage whom he had worked with for a decade past.
Photo courtesy latimes.com