Yesterday marked opening night for Disney Theatrical’s new Broadway musical Frozen… well, kinda. The show won’t actually open on the Great White Way until March but is currently engaged in a pre-Broadway run at the Buell Theatre in Denver, Colorado. While the show began preview performances at that venue last month, September 14th was the official opening night for the Broadway-bound retelling of a modern Disney classic. Take a look at the Frozen‘s wonderful cast during their curtain call last night:
If that wasn’t enough of a sneak peek at the show, Disney Theatrical also recently released the first production photos from Frozen:
Here is a round-up of what the critics had to say about the show:
New York Times: This is no disaster. Mr. Grandage, who staged rivetingly dour productions of “Frost/Nixon” and “The Cripple of Inishmaan” on Broadway, has five months to revise and refine the show. Some of his work will be done for him by the St. James itself, which seats 1,600 instead of the Buell’s 2,800, and will help focus the audience on the less generic, more psychological tale he apparently wants to tell. And already much is right: The supporting cast is charming, the singing spectacular, the simpler effects – including the crystal curtain for Elsa’s palace and the part-puppet, part-human reindeer and snowman – successful.
Variety: The din during the intermission of a recent performance of the Broadway-bound musical “Frozen” might have broken decibel records at Denver Center’s Buell Theater. No doubt the house’s hum was amped by the higher-pitched voices of the booster-seat crowd, but if Disney Theatrical Productions’ aim was to age up the demographic of the animated blockbuster’s stage adaptation, they’ve succeeded. In its live rendition of “Let It Go,” the signature tune from the 2014 Oscar winner, the musical wows adults as much as kids with a brilliant spectacle — as poignant as it is jaw-dropping — that should ensure the production a hearty run in New York, where the show begins Broadway previews in February.
The Hollywood Reporter: By the time it all wraps up in classic, uplifting Disney fashion — but without Prince Charming’s stamp of approval — the issues that need tending to hardly seem to matter. While the characters are spinning on a two-tiered revolving stage (a stand-in for the outdoor skating scene), the message is clear: Love wins and women can save the day. Charming characters, a built-in audience and hummable tunes make Frozen a no-brainer for Broadway. Can Disney turn it into the next super-smash? The odds look good.
Denver Post: 3 Stars More derivative and less daring than previous Disney screen-to-stage transfers, “Frozen” is fun but not transporting. It does best in minimalist moments, when relying on smart choreography rather than lavish devices. Creative lighting on an array of linked torsos effectively suggests bodies suddenly turned to ice, whereas a glittery curtain of crystals is more Vegas.
Chicago Tribune: Simply put, “Frozen” currently puts its focus too much on things that matter less in the theater and not enough on what matters most: the power of myth and the bond between two young women who represent us and whose struggles and aspirations mirror our own. The two lead actresses — they’re both well-cast — have forged quite credible characters individually; they have not yet merged as sisters of different stripes, nor does the book or score do what it must to help them. “Frozen” can’t be cold. But to emerge in the sun, we all need to spend a bit more time in the freezer.
Frozen will continue at the Buell Theatre until October 1st. It will then kick-off previews at the St. James Theatre in New York on February 22nd, 2018 with an official opening night set for March 22nd. For more information and for tickets, visit FrozentheMusical.com.