Frozen — Live at the Hyperion had its world premiere at Disney California Adventure’s Hyperion Theater yesterday. The show, which has been in development for well over a year received a standing ovation during its first show with an audience. Unlike previous shows at the Hyperion, last night the show clocked in at nearly 70 minutes.
Before the show, Dana Harrel, creative entertainment executive with Walt Disney Imagineering and Tony-nominated director Liesl Tommy took to the stage to share their excitement with the audience.
“While our production of ‘Frozen’ stays true to the heart and soul of the film, we have adapted it for the stage so it’s truly a musical theater production that befits our beautiful Hyperion Theater,” said Dana Harrel, creative entertainment executive with Walt Disney Imagineering. “The goal of this creative team is to take all audiences – including those who know the film, and those new to these characters – on this exciting and touching adventure with Anna and Elsa.
“We know that for many in the audience — adults and children alike – this production will be a first or rare theater-going experience, and we want to make it as magical as possible.”
Director Liesl Tommy discussed as she was brought on board, she made many visits to the Disneyland Resort to get a sense of the space which her work would occupy. She said that she quickly realized that Broadway caliber would not be good enough and that the spectacle and scope would have to exceed even those lofty ambitions.
Some Frozen — Live fun facts:
- More than 2,500 actors/vocalists and 1,000 dancers from across the country were auditioned for Frozen – Live at the Hyperion. From this group, 103 were selected to be part of the opening cast.
- More than 1,000 costumes have been created for the show, along with 772 pairs of shoes.
- All the scenic doors have been faithfully re-created from the animated feature. It took more than 1,500 hours to design, engineer and fabricate the 7 pairs of doors onstage.
- The traditional Norwegian folk art painting known as Rosemaling has been used to adorn many of the set pieces and props in the show.
- Elsa’s staircase of ice is an automated set piece designed to swing the performer out into and over the first several rows of the audience. To create the staircase, Disney collaborated with partners who have engineered mega-spectacles for major concert events around the world.
- There are 36 ice spikes built into the stage.
- The chandelier is made up of 60 individual ice shards and has more than 500 points of light.
- It took nearly 45,000 sq. ft. of custom-dyed fabric to create the “Aurora” curtain that encompasses the interior of the theater, almost completely surrounding the audience.
- 211 new lighting fixtures were installed for the show, increasing the total number of conventional lighting fixtures in the Hyperion to more than 800. 87% of them are LED sources.
- There are 117 moving lights.
- Motion capture technology is used to detect where performers are located on stage for lighting and video.
- Eight new projectors have been installed, allowing projection onto the stage as well as the House Left and House Right walls.
- The custom curved video wall covers 2,200 square feet, with more than 4 million pixels producing high-resolution video images.
- The onstage video wall screen weighs 44,000 lbs, and the stage deck had to be reinforced with steel plates to secure it.
One interesting note: snacks and beverages will be for sale inside the Hyperion Theater so cup holders have been added to the seats. There will also be a selection of merchandise available near the Hyperion.
Look to LaughingPlace.com for more coverage of Frozen — Live at the Hyperion in the coming days including interviews with the creative team.