Frozen – Plot Summary and Reviews
“Frozen: The Musical” is a part of a good portion of shows dedicated especially to the kids in the audience. “Aladdin”, and “The Lion King” are amongst the most popular shows on Broadway. With long-standing legacy on both screen and TV, the two shows have made a more than successful cross to the stage. “The Lion King” even holds several records, including the highest-grossing Broadway show of all time.
“Frozen The Musical” is a worthy part of this elite company. The Disney movie premiered in 2013 and became an instant classic with its iconic characters and beautiful songs. The musical debuted in March 2018 at the St. James Theatre. It is the outcome of the combined effort of Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez (lyrics) and Jennifer Lee (book).
Review of Frozen’s Act I
If you’re a young parent, then you’re certainly familiar with the story. This is the story of Elsa and Anna – sister-princesses, living in the fictional land of Arendelle. Elsa accidentally injures Anna with her cryokinetic magic when they created Olaf. Their father – King Agnarr called on the leader of the Hidden People – Grand Pabbie, to heal her. And so he did, but when asked by the king the remove Elsa’s power, he refused, saying that “this is a part of her”. He isolates the two sisters due to the fear (both his and Elsa’s) that she will cause someone’s death. He later perishes in a sea storm along with his queen and the girls’ mother – Queen Iduna.
Ten years later, Elsa is crowned as Queen of Arendelle. During the ceremony, Anna meets Prince Hans of the Southern Islands. They immediately fall in love and ask Elsa to bless their marriage. They get in a quarrel and Elsa unleashes her powers. She is condemned by the aristocrats of being a monster, so she runs to the castle in the North Mountain but leaves Arendelle in turmoil and an eternal blizzard.
Anna sets off to find her, leaving Hans in charge of the kingdom. She is ill-equipped but receives help from Kristoff and Sven, the reindeer. Kristoff gives her warm clothes, and she leaves her coronation dress behind, which is later found by an Arendelle soldier who brings it to Hans. He sends a party to find her, along with two of the Duke of Weselton’s men in order to kill Elsa. Meanwhile, Anna and Kristoff stumble upon Olaf, who offers to bring them to Elsa. Anna and Kristoff already had their first sparks when she saved him from falling off a bridge, and their argument on love.
At this very time, Elsa builds an ice castle in the North Mountain where she will lead a secluded life.
Review of Frozen’s Act II
Anna, Kristoff, and Olaf arrive at Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post where Kristoff negotiates with Oaken – the owner, to aid their efforts in finding Elsa, and Anna enjoys a sauna. Oaken agrees and supplies them with provisions and warm clothes.
They reach Elsa’s ice castle. Anna confronts Elsa for what has happened to Arendelle, but Elsa argues that she cannot fix it and freezes her sister’s heart. Then proceeds to kick them out. Anna’s hair becomes white, and Kristoff takes her to his adoptive family – the Hidden folk. Grand Pabbie recognizes her and states that she can only be saved by an act of true love. Kristoff makes the hard decision to take her to Hans.
Hans wasn’t idle all this time. His men reached Elsa’s castle and place her under arrest while she was planning on how to end the storm (and reflecting if she was a monster). Hans accuses her of treason and sentences her to death. He gets his hands to Anna, too, and throws her in prison in order to gain full control over Arendelle.
The final moments on stage are full of action – Olaf frees Anna, and they venture to find Kristoff, who Olaf reveals loves Anna. Hans tries to execute Elsa, but his blow is blocked by Anna, who turns into ice.
This, however, saves her, as it is the act of true love that she needed. Elsa finds that her magic is controlled by love and ends the winter. Anna, alive and well, punches Hans and falls in love with Kristoff. Then the two sisters reunite.
Reception and Critical Acclaim
The show was received with mixed to positive reception. Critics weren’t very fond of it, labeling it dull, however giving higher marks to the songs and to the acting. It was well-beloved by the audience – children and adults alike. In fact, a study showed that “Frozen: The Musical” was visited mostly by adults without kids. Anderson-Lopez addressed this by saying that the character received rework, thus getting deeper and more mature.
“Frozen: The Musical” received three Tony Nominations, sadly not winning any, deserving at least the one for Original Score.
Frozen’s Cast and Acting
The original cast received very high acclaims. Cast members Patti Murin, Caissie Levy, Jelani Alladin (Anna, Elsa, and Kristoff respectively) were praised for their acting. In February 2020 Caissie Levy was replaced by Ciara Renée as Elsa.
The musical acts of “Frozen” have caused some controversy. The songs, written specifically for the musical were deemed “lesser” by pundits, especially when compared to the original songs from the movie. The audience (including myself) strongly disagrees.
The original cast recording includes 20 songs and was released in May 2018. Aside from the famous “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?”, songs worth noting are “Monster”, “Dangerous to Dream”, “True Love”, and the bonus track “When Everything Falls Apart”.
Frozen on Broadway Seating Chart
The Kingdom of Arendelle is big, but is it as big as the St. James Theatre on Broadway? The St. James is one of the biggest venues on Broadway – more than 1.700 seats on three levels. You have to keep this in mind when you’re looking for your tickets.
A wonderful story of true love, hard decisions (sometimes bad), adventure, betrayal, but with a happy, feel-good ending – this is “Frozen: The Musical”. And this is why it sells out the huge St. James every single evening. Because it will certainly give you the great feeling that it carried on the stage from the large screen. Find out why it was voted one of the best kid friendly shows in 2020.
If you wish to find more Broadway information you can consult this wonder publication about all Broadway shows.