As the COVID storm rages on, the importance and effectiveness of live theater as a form of escapism cannot be overlooked. Disney’s “Frozen The Musical” is a case in point – pure magic, pure joy, and enough love to thaw even the most frozen hearts.
While “Frozen The Musical” remains, for the most part, completely faithful to the iconic 2013 film, there’s even more emphasis on the sisterhood between Anna and Elsa, as well as a few new songs that take the story to the next level. alpine. Heights.
‘Frozen’ was highly praised for its subtle critique of unrealistic romantic expectations (“You can’t marry a man you just met”), which was a bold and self-deprecating move on the part of the studio and, thankfully, was carried out at the stage show. Her reminder that true love can take forms other than romance is also reiterated here. These themes alone give “Frozen” a truly excellent and realistic edge. . . And then, by adding magic and setting the story in a larger-than-life fictional realm, the balance between genuinely important messaging and snowy fantasy is beautifully achieved.
Leading actresses Jemma Rix and Courtney Monsma deliver performances worthy of the world stage – they truly are Disney magic personified.
Jemma nails Elsa’s transformation from calm, thoughtful, and regal to someone larger than life who has finally come to terms with her abilities and potential. Elsa’s journey is a roller coaster, it’s a journey of grief, shame, awareness, acceptance and passion – and if there’s one thing Australian audiences have learned from Jemma Rix , is that she is quite capable (and even more so) of slipping into the shoes of someone who has been through it all. While there’s very little or nothing to distract in the theater, no “Frozen” moment is more important to watch with unwavering attention than “Let It Go.” WOW. Jemma’s vocal performance is one thing, and then there is. . . This moment. It’s cliché to say, but you really have to see it to believe it.
Image © Lisa Tomasetti
Matt Lee as Olaf – talent, an excellent ability to multi-task under a hot spotlight, and the perfect voice. . . There isn’t much else to say. A complete delight and therefore very clearly loved by the public, young and old. The translation of an animated snowman from screen to stage couldn’t have been more endearingly executed. It’s proof that puppeteers don’t have to wear black or fade into the background for a puppet to be effective – it’s as fun to watch Matt as it is to watch Olaf – in fact, it might even be essential. The puppet can only display a limited amount of emotion, and Matt acts as a human extension of that.
Hans and Kristoff, played by Thomas McGuane and Sean Sinclair respectively, also match their animated counterparts fabulously. Thomas is easily hateful as Hans, which of course is important for the role. . . Whereas Sean Sinclair’s Kristoff is charming, approachable and fun to watch.
Aljin Abella’s Weselton is a crowd favorite. The character is the perfect love-to-hate comic relief, and every time he appears on stage, he’s completely campy and hilarious.
A round of applause is in order (and certainly was given on opening night) for Young Anna and Elsa, on this opening night starring Mila Hourmouzis and Samara Wheeler. What remarkable talent – I remember thinking, watching them both in their scenes early in the series, that I wouldn’t be surprised to see their names appear in central roles in years to come.
It’s Courtney Monsma as Anna, however, who – for me – paints a picture of Disney and “Frozen” most effectively of the entire cast. It’s as if the animated character designed for the film walks across the television and onto the stage. . . Truly phenomenal. His mannerisms, his big personality, the character’s characteristic quirkiness, they’re all there, not to mention his voice. Courtney is magnetic – Anna’s joy is contagious, her sadness is heartbreaking and there is a depth to this character that is truly special. Rarely have I seen anyone disappear into a role as easily as Courtney in Anna.
Image © Lisa Tomasetti
The stage and lighting design of “Frozen,” by Christopher Oram and Natasha Katz, transports audiences to stone castle chambers, icy mountain peaks, dimly lit gardens, and resonant sacred halls. spectacular. Elsa’s Ice Castle in particular, adorned with hanging icicles and a majestic staircase, is one to look forward to.
It goes without saying that the music here is wonderful. “Love Is An Open Door” and “For The First Time In Forever” are favorites, while additional moments of theatrics (wait until you hear the end of “Let It Go”) plus all-new tracks like “Monster and ‘What do you know about love?’ to breathe even more life, personality and depth into the characters as we know them.
The story of “Frozen” is a modern classic with important messages woven throughout. Give it a few extra songs, that trademark, that heightened sense of campness and “oomph” that only a stage show can provide, and a cast in which there are no conceivable flaws, only extraordinary performances. , and you have something wonderful.
“Frozen The Musical” is a true life lesson draped in divine staging, sprinkled with unbridled joy and topped with world-class talent. At a time when the noise of reality can be so overwhelming, what a gift it is to have a place as special as the theater to escape to, and a musical as upbeat as this to really help us let go. socket.
‘Frozen The Musical’ is currently on view at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre.