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Review Roundup: The National Tour of FROZEN - What Did the Critics Think?


From the producers of The Lion King and Aladdin, Frozen launches a North American tour, commencing in Schenectady, NY prior to an official opening at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles. Heralded by The New Yorker as "thrilling" and "genuinely moving," Frozen has emerged as the biggest hit musical of the last two Broadway seasons, breaking four house records at its New York home, the legendary St. James Theatre. For more information, including a list of currently announced cities, visit

The Frozen North American tour stars Caroline Bowman as Elsa and Caroline Innerbichler as Anna, the sisters at the heart of the joy-filled musical. Joining them are principal cast members Austin Colby (Bowman's husband) as Hans, F. Michael Haynie as Olaf, Mason Reeves as Kristoff, Jeremy Morse as Weselton, Collin Baja and Evan Strand alternating as Sven, as well as Stella Cobb (Young Anna), Alyssa Kim (Young Elsa), Jaiden Klein (Young Elsa), and Arwen Monzon-Sanders (Young Anna).

Let's see what the critics are saying...

Schenectady, NY

Marc Savitt, BroadwayWorld: There truly are no weak moments in the slightly over two-hour production, but there are several standouts that include Jeremy Morse's performance as Weselton, as well as several special effects that thrill audience members from eight to eighty alike. Ms. Bowman's vocals in one of several musical pieces new to the stage version of Frozen, "Dangerous to Dream" are in a word - gorgeous. The same word which is fitting to describe the costumes designed by Christopher Oram who is also responsible for the show's scenic design. While Oram's work throughout the production is noteworthy, I found the staging of "In Summer" inspired and particularly amusing.

Steve Barnes, TimesUnion: Young Anna and Young Elsa (Arwen Monzon-Sanders and Jaiden Klein, respectively, at Friday's show) are spunky and adorable. Adult Anna (Caroline Innerbichler) retains the younger sibling's zest, as she's unburdened by either the crown her sister wears or the magic powers that keep Elsa apart from everyone for most of the show. Caroline Bowman is properly regal as Elsa, thought her "Let It Go" can't escape the shadow of Idina Menzel's original recording. Mason Reeves' Kristoff is a good match for Anna, though it must be said that he's easy to overlook anytime he's next to his reindeer, Sven (Evan Strand at Friday's performance), created from a remarkable puppet/costume by "Lion King" puppet designer Michael Curry, who also did the puppet for Olaf the snowman (F. Michael Haynie, delightful).

Diego Cagara, Spotlight News: While attending the Nov. 15 show, Caroline Bowman proved she was a vocal powerhouse as Elsa; whenever she belted out familiar lyrics from the film and even original songs exclusive to the musical, the theater erupted into thunderous applause. Another highlight was Bowman's facial expressions throughout the musical - from dramatic raised eyebrows whenever a character got physically too close to her character when she was still struggling with her powers, to that of genuine concern when she believes Anna has either been injured or killed. Anna was played by Caroline Innerbichler who consistently provided comic relief as she never lost her bombastic and animated personality. Innerbichler proved to be a triple threat since besides her impeccable voice and acting, her flexible body yielded impressive choreography onstage.

Los Angeles, CA

Don Grigware, BroadwayWorld: Under Michael Grandage's smooth direction and with Rob Ashford's splendid choreographic moves, the cast are sensational. Bowden as Elsa has a superior voice and really brings out Elsa's fear to the max ("Monster"). Innerbichler as well makes an incredibly pleasant yet perplexed Anna, who is eternally cheerful like the aforementioned Glinda. The supporting cast are all wonderful with kudos especially to Evan Strand and Collin Baja sharing the role of Sven the reindeer who moves around the stage with a truly magical trot...and praise also to F. Michael Haynie as the delightful Olaf, the little puppet snowman that the sisters help build as children. He is a constant reminder that Elsa and Anna will always be sisters. These characters are variations of the comic relief duo in The Lion King. Bravo to the entire ensemble!

Deborah Wilker, The Hollywood Reporter: Frozen the musical keeps evolving, and not just since its incubation at Denver's Buell Theatre, where moody lighting and drab colors suggested producers were intent on creating something "ambitious," even if they weren't entirely sure how. Through smart cuts and additions, a little Disney magic and ongoing tweaks, the tale of sisters Elsa and Anna in search of one another finally lands in a way that a commercial blockbuster should. Maybe it helps that newcomer Caroline Innerbichler as Anna is this production's real find - an old-school triple-threat who just plain pops and carries the evening.

Jill Weinlein, Onstage Blog: The adult Elsa (Caroline Bowman known for her Broadway roles as Elphaba in Wicked and Nicola in Kinky Boots) becomes the quintessential Queen Elsa. Her sister Anna (Caroline Innerbichler) steals the scene often while playing the lovable younger sister. She has so many funny scenes as a quirky and isolated girl who blossoms at her sister's coronation. The sisters relationship reminded me of Elphaba and Glinda in"Wicked."

Erin Conley, On Stage & Screen: The standout of the cast is Innerbichler, who infuses Anna with personality the animated version of the character never really got to have. Whether she's dueting on "Love Is An Open Door" with her love interest, Hans (Austin Colby, also delightful) or excitedly bouncing around her bedroom during "The First Time in Forever," she brings an endearing awkwardness and likability to the character that really drives the emotional arc of the story forward. Haynie, who visibly walks around the stage manipulating an Olaf puppet while singing, in probably the best easily feasible version of doing this they could come up with, is another highlight, drawing laughs whenever he appears.

To read more reviews, click here!

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