Put me in a room full of all things Disney magic and theatre and you’ve pretty much sold me already. And that couldn’t be truer of Disney’s broadway musical Frozen. Knowing the rough beginning the production had opening here in Melbourne and the uncertain times we are living in. I must count myself extremely blessed to have witnessed such a spectacle and on opening night of all things. It was magical and for a sweet moment nothing else mattered only the joy and rush of Disney magic I found myself being swept up in. It’s definitely true that Melbourne has never needed a musical like Frozen more.
From the very beginning the show does what Theatre does best, immerse you in another world. The whole show is visually eye popping to say the least but it’s the scenic designs of Arendelle and it’s surrounds ,combined with the stunning 363 costumes (Fun fact Elsa’s ice dress has more than 18,000 Swarovski Crystals hand sewn into it) by Christopher Oram with the help of special effects aka Disney magic by Jeremy Chernick that truly soar all throughout. Having said that the puppet designs for Olaf and Sven in question are equally impressive, all thanks to Michael Curry.
And what musical isn’t complete without a spectacular cast? That of which Frozen has plenty of. Jemma Rix as Elsa and Courtney Monsma as Anna clearly had amazing on stage chemistry and brought the sisters story to life in such a deep, meaningful and passionate way. Jemma shines as Elsa and brings just the right seriousness and quiet dignity to the role but it’s her powerhouse vocals in the show stopping numbers like “let it go” that bring the house down. But Courtney as Anna is a match made in heaven and a true delight with her playful attitude, bubbly energy and big beaming smile. It’s easy to see why Courtney captures Anna’s unwavering positivity that others fell in love with in the film so well. The shared role of the younger child versions of the sisters who on this particular night were played by Stella Partridge and Isobel Lauber blew me away with there talent, stamina and ability at only 8-10 years of age. Stella who plays young Anna in particular was adorable and had the audience in fits of laughter at several points. Crowd favourite Olaf the loveable and uncomplicated snowman, was very skilfully played by Matt Lee .To bring Olaf to life Matt is tasked with manning an expressive rod puppet while acting, singing and dancing. It doesn’t look like an easy task and Matt doesn’t miss a beat or a chance to steal the show especially during his big number “In summer” which has been updated to include a playful reference to frozen 2. Thomas McGuane is slick as the suspiciously perfect Prince Hans while Sean Sinclair provides the rough around the edges charm that made Kristoff such an unlikely new Disney hero. And might I add his singing and dancing are flawless. Honourable mentions go to Aljin Abella as Duke of Weselton and Blake Appelqvist as Oaken, who were fully committed to their supporting roles.
All in all Frozen is a delight to behold and once you see it for yourself you too will see why you’ll be giving a standing ovation with tears in your eyes and leaving the theatre with a big smile all at the same time.
Frozen is now playing at Melbourne’s Her Majesty’s Theatre, to secure your ticket or for more information visit http://www.frozenthemusical.com.au