The ice juggernaut that gripped Arendelle and children worldwide for more than two years keeps on coming with two forthcoming Frozen stage renditions. Parents who want to please their darlings (or secretly want to go too) will have two different professional, sure to be well done, Disney musical productions to see in the coming years replete with Elsa, Anna, Olaf and the other characters. The first Frozen spectacle is slated to come alive at California Adventure theme park this summer followed in two years by a full-length show on Broadway.
Frozen – Live at the Hyperion, a new musical based on the animated film, will open in California Adventure’s 1,873-seat Hyperion Theater on May 27, 2016. The show, which is expected to run about 45 minutes, will feature the regal sisters, stunning costumes, eye-opening special effects as well as music and lyrics from the movie’s Oscar-winning team of Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez.
Disney’s Dana Harrel, an Imagineering division Portfolio Creative Entertainment executive, promises, “Our stage production of Frozen will stay true to the heart and soul of the film. Anna and Elsa will carry the audience on an emotional journey that includes show-stopping production numbers and a few unique theatrical twists.”
To set the stage when park guests enter from the warm California climate, the interior of the Hyperion Theater will be entirely decorated to set the Frozen tone. They promise “snow” throughout the theater.
Disney’s upcoming Broadway stage adaptation of Frozen will not hit New York City until early in 2018. However, the show will have an out-of-town pit stop first to work any kinks out and, presumably, create advance buzz. It is slated to open in August 2017 at the Buell Theatre at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts in Colorado. The Denver theater was previously used for the pre-Broadway try-out in 2007 of the stage version of The Little Mermaid.
Frozen has been a phenomenon worldwide. So have Disney’s Broadway musicals and theme park musicals. The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast and Mary Poppins have all been top grossing, hit Broadway shows.
This one-two punch approach to staging live renditions of hit Disney films has been employed before. Aladdin , the 1992 film, also received a similar approach with an in-demand live show at California Adventure followed by a full-on Broadway production. However, in that case, the Broadway show followed many years after the California Adventure version opened in 2003. (The Hyperion Theater version of Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular ran at the theme park for 13 years, and estimated 14,000 performances for about 13 million park guests. The show just closed in January to make room for the new production. The Broadway production opened in Seattle in 2011 and went to New York in 2014.)
Parents wanted to bring their offspring to California Adventure this summer when Frozen comes alive (instead of or ahead of two years later on Broadway) should be aware that it will be a well in demand. Besides the popularity of the blockbuster film, sitting in an air-conditioned theater for almost an hour is sure to appeal on a hot California day – it drew millions to Aladdin, which was not nearly as popular a movie.
Written and Edited By Dyanne Weiss
Disneyland Resort Public Relations: ‘Frozen – Live at the Hyperion,’ a New Stage Musical, Opens May 27, 2016, at Disney California Adventure Park
DisneyParks Blog: All New ‘Frozen’-Inspired Stage Musical Coming to Disney California Adventure Park in 2016
Entertainment Weekly: Frozen musical selects city for world premiere before Broadway
Los Angeles Times: ‘Frozen’ show at California Adventure sets its opening date: May 27
Photo by Paul Hiffmeyer/courtesy of Disneyland Resort