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 FrozenTheMusical.com/Tour.
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...
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.