Cue the fake snow and fog machines, as we have the official cast for Frozen on Broadway. Now, most of this was already known and assumed based on who was performing in the labs of the show, but still, this is exciting! This is only the principal casting for the show, which premieres this August in Denver before transferring to the historic St. James Theatre in Spring 2018. The theater is undergoing big backstage construction, including blowing out the back wall to expand the size, just for Frozen, so we know that they want this show to be big. The cast is great and I'm here to introduce these incredible Broadway performers to those who are unfamiliar.
Anna will be played by Patti Murin, in the most perfect casting I've arguably ever seen. Patti made her Broadway debut in Xanadu in an ensemble and understudy role, but then was the star of the short-lived Lysistrata Jones. This video describing the show made me fall in love with her, along with the clips of the show I have seen. Her voice is wonderful, her acting is great, and she is the big ball of delightful energy that this role calls for. Patti is going to kill it as Anna.
Elsa will be played by Caissie Levy, who came into the role during the second lab. Her voice is beast-like. By that, I mean the girl can belt like nobodies business. She made her Broadway debut as Penny Pingleton in Hairspray, then became an Elphaba understudy in Wicked. Her biggest claim to fame is her gorgeous performance as Sheila in the 2009 Hair revival. If you haven't, get yourself a copy of that cast recording as it is stunning. I am secretly hoping if she ever forgets her lines, she'll just start singing "Easy To Be Hard." She also starred in Ghost The Musical (yes, it exists) and the 2014 revival of Les Miserables. I am ready to be blown out of my seat by her "Let It Go."
Olaf will be played by Greg Hildreth. He made his Broadway debut in one of my favorite underappreciated musicals, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson. He then moved on to the Disney property Peter and the Starcatcher and Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella. He has a firm grasp on comedic timing and I'm sure he'll be able to bring his own style to the loveable snowman.
The Duke of Weselton will be played by Robert Creighton, who has an expansive Broadway resume. He has been a part of the Broadway casts of The Lion King and The Little Mermaid, while also appearing in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, the 2011 revival of Anything Goes and the 2012 revival of The Mystery (knock) of Edwin (knock knock) DROOOOOD. (the title must be spoken like that, always!) He is best known for his Drama Desk Award nominated performance in the off-broadway musical Cagney.
The cast also has one relative newcomer and a Broadway debut in lead roles. John Riddle will be playing Prince Hans. His only Broadway credit is the short-lived Chita Rivera musical The Visit. Jelani Alladin will be playing Kristoff in his Broadway debut. Congrats to them on these big roles!
The director has me a tad worried, however. Michael Grandage is taking over for Alex Timbers, who left the piece early on in labs (but is said to be directing the Emma Stone Cruella film). He is best known for dramatic pieces, which has me a little worried. Frost/Nixon, Red, and the revival of Evita are just some of his Broadway credits, and are all very serious, so I'm interested to see where he takes this. Also, Newsies choreographer Christopher Gattelli is out and Rob Ashford has replaced him. Mr. Ashford LOVES a big, showy dance number (like the below piece from the revival of Promises, Promises), so I'm also intrigued by what he will do with Frozen.
All I know is that every announcement has me more and more excited and I cannot wait to experience Arendelle on the Great White Way next spring!