Broadway Bound ‘Frozen’ Previews In Denver

The musical “Frozen” made its Denver debut on Aug. 17 and it runs through Oct. 1 at the Buell Theatre. For tickets and information go to the “Frozen” page at http://www.denvercenter.org.

DENVER (CBS4) – The upcoming Broadway-bound musical “Frozen” at the Buell Theatre is taking a princess tale and giving it a little spin.

frozen musical 1 Broadway Bound Frozen Previews In Denver Patti Murin (Anna) and John Riddle (Hans) (credit: Deen van Meer/Disney)

Critic at Large Greg Moody says get ready for:

– Wonderful storytelling
– Beautiful production
– Rich music by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez

PHOTO GALLERY: ‘Frozen’ Onstage In Denver

And be ready for the most special part of all: the core of the story. “Frozen” isn’t just about a princess finding her Prince Charming, it’s about sisters lost and found again.

“I think it’s about Elsa and Anna finding each other again,” said Caissie Levy, who stars Elsa in the musical.

“True love. True love in a way that you don’t normally think of true love. You normally think of it in a romantic way between two people,” said Patti Murin, who stars as Anna.

“Certainly in a fairy tale you do. And this is a modern fairy tale about sisters sort of finding their way back to each other after many years of estrangement,” Levy said.

Murin and Levy are serious about the magical story they tell.

“We know how beautiful and complicated and layered those relationships are, and I think most people out there understand that at their core as well,” Levy said.

frozen musical 4 Broadway Bound Frozen Previews In Denver Patti Murin (Anna) and Caissie Levy (Elsa) with Jacob Smith (credit: Deen van Meer/Disney)

“Frozen” will include more than a dozen new songs, and it will feature a set that will add a sense of wonder to the storytelling.

“We have more time and we actually have more material to delve into and go deeper into these women and the rest of the characters as well,” said Levy.

The story doesn’t break convention as much as remind us simply what the love of sisters is all about, Moody says.

frozen director 7 Broadway Bound Frozen Previews In Denver (credit Disney Theatrical)

It take a full creative team to build a successful Broadway musical. One of the keys to that team is the director, who pulls the collaborative effort into focus.

Taking on any Broadway show requires a special talent with a special vision, which is why Disney Theatrical tapped Tony and Olivier Awards winning director, Michael Grandage for the Broadway bound “Frozen.”

The problem facing both Grandage, as well as, the entire creative team was how to turn one of the most beloved animated films in history into a big Broadway musical, with more songs, and more production numbers, and eye-popping special effects.

frozen director 3 Broadway Bound Frozen Previews In Denver (credit Disney Theatrical)

“The vision for the show really is to make sure that we do something new and different to anything that’s been there before. ‘Frozen’ is a very known piece so we need to make sure that everybody gets what they want from the bit they know. But we wanted to be able to go deeper than anything before, and we wanted to be able tot make you laugh more than you’ve ever laughed before, and make you cry more than you’ve ever cried before,” Grandage told CBS4.

The team had to do all that without losing story or characters and still build a new audience.

frozen director Broadway Bound Frozen Previews In Denver (credit Disney Theatrical)

“When you’re sitting there in the dark, we have the opportunity to reach out and touch you and change your life potentially. And you can do that by putting humanity in all it’s forms on stage. The human condition can be explored in great depth. We have the capacity to do that in live theater. It’s why it’s such an extraordinary art form. I hope that’s what will be the new bit of the experience,” Grandage said.

“The thing is that Disney can do it. Whatever the challenge, they continue to find the wonder and magic on film and somehow make it even more amazing when they bring it to the stage,” said Moody.

As Disney Theatrical develops it’s new Broadway bound musical “Frozen,” it’s keeping a tight lid on the details. There is an atmosphere of secrecy surrounding the production, even though the story and music are known world-wide.

frozen director 6 Broadway Bound Frozen Previews In Denver (credit Disney Theatrical)

“The thing about a show like ‘Frozen’ is you know the story, but you don’t know how we’re going to tell it. And I want, when you come and sit in that seat and you hear the down beat of that orchestra, I want you to be surprised, because I think it’s a good surprise. And I want you to have fun with how we’re going to do it. This is a pure piece of theater, using theatrical techniques, that’s going to tell a story that you know, but you don’t know how we’re going to do it. And that wonder, that joy, whether you’re a kid or a grandma, there’s joy in how we do it, and so I want to let you discover it not let someone else tell you what it is,” said Thomas Schumacher of Disney Theatrical Productions.

That, in the end, makes sense. The secrecy does preserve the magic, it does preserve the surprise. And, in the end, it helps deliver on that wonderful promise of live theater, the thrill of seeing something so completely new for the very first time.

“Frozen The Musical” is “Frozen” the animated movie, but then again, in style, tone, story, and especially dance, it’s not.

“One of the most exciting parts of working on ‘Frozen’ is that I wasn’t trying to replicate a bunch of dancing from the film. But to try to find where the dancing could be in ‘Frozen’, where it could move the story along and give some joy and some character,” said Rob Ashford, choreographer for the show.

You do that by taking the world within the animated film and weaving choreography into it’s very soul.

frozen director 5 Broadway Bound Frozen Previews In Denver (credit Disney Theatrical)

“We have two different worlds. We have a fairy tale world, and we have a mythical world. And we try to first start defining those two worlds, and how they moved and how they behaved, so that was a great beginning. And that really helped us start trying to create some vocabulary for each of those worlds, that didn’t overlap too much, but weren’t foreign to each other,” Ashford explained.

Not only does Ashford have to capture those worlds, but tell a beloved story while building upon it.

frozen director 4 Broadway Bound Frozen Previews In Denver (credit Disney Theatrical)

“It was and is a great challenge. But there are always, there are certain places that you don’t need anything, and there are certain places that it elevates the moment even more than the writers,” Ashford told CBS4.

The most exciting part of it is seeing how the dance story helps move the main story along.

 

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