As the COVID-19 situation continues to impact so much of the world, and with it, much of The Walt Disney Company, one of the many things lost in its path was Disney’s Frozen Broadway show, which has been running since 2017 in New York City. Due to increasing losses caused by the novel coronavirus outbreak, Disney Theatrical Productions has decided to shut down Frozen, confirming that it will not return when Broadway reopens, due to the challenge it will present in running too many shows on a Broadway landscape that will be forever changed. As the show now has met its sad fate, we’d like to take the opportunity to properly celebrate this great show even after its lights have gone out.
Though Frozen was never quite the powerhouse that Aladdin or The Lion King was, it was still its a spectacle in its own right – featuring impressive sets, costumes, and characters. Where it suffered in sticking perhaps a bit too close to the source material (often leading to word-for-word recreations of the movie) it made up for in its original elements, from some incredible new songs to the impressive translation of some elements from the screen to the stage.
Frozen was adapted directly from the Disney film, bringing along co-director Jennifer Lee to write the book for the stage show, and with original songs by the film’s songwriting duo, Kristen-Anderson Lopez and Bobby Lopez, and directed by Michael Grandage. Considering it’s rushed production to get to Broadway stages – planned as early as 2014, just months after the movie’s release – Frozen seemed to succeed against its rising odds. Expanding further on the character developments of the core cast of the original film, the show features stand-out performances from its cast and cemented itself as a worthy Disney Theatrical production. When the story hits all of its familiar beats, you can’t help but feel satisfied by its performance, and when Elsa sings the Lopez-original song, Monster, you may actually want to stand up and cheer for one of the show’s most glorious moments.
There are no shortages of great adjectives to describe Frozen’s spectacular sights and sounds – with stellar performances to phenomenal sets, and a story that will keep its guests entertained, even with a few slippery patches throughout. For what it’s worth, Frozen was a nice Broadway experiment that shows even the biggest blockbuster smashes may be no match for the stage. Despite this, the show gave us a stand-out example of what Disney could accomplish under pressure, bringing moments of pure Disney magic to the St. James Theater in New York City. Goodbye Frozen – Broadway will feel a lot less hygge without you.