BWW Review: FROZEN at Proctors Wraps the Capital Region in a Big Warm Hug.
The mission statement of the Walt Disney Company includes the phrase, to: "entertain, inform and inspire people around the globe through the power of unparalleled storytelling. In close to 100 years Disney has become an irrefutable leader at making magic. With the launch of the National Tour of FROZEN, Proctor's Theatre in Schenectady is overflowing with magic.
The show opens with the two young princesses of Arendelle, Elsa and Anna, well played at this performance by Jaiden Klein and Arwen Monzon-Sanders who was particularly adorable. In the early scenes, vocals by Marina Kondo as Queen Iduna are striking and noteworthy.
The action quickly evolves to the Princess's teen years and the day of Elsa's (Caroline Bowman) coronation as Queen. Her first notes, delivered with such power and clarity, make it clear that Ms. Bowman is going to be a force to be reckoned with. Caroline Innerbichler as Anna shows herself to be equally talented and a powerful partner. Together, the two lead the attractive cast of over 35 in "For the First Time in Forever" and in taking us on a delightful journey in which we enjoy high quality performances by all, including Austin Colby as Hans, Mason Reeves as Kristoff, and F. Michael Haynie as Olaf.
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. As you might expect, "Let it Go" features impressive effects that seemed to take the audience from a
combination of iconic Disney moments reminiscent of Tinkerbell sprinkling fireworks over the Magic Kingdom with Cinderella's transformation, to the inside of a snow globe. Then there is that moment with Elsa's dress - something which is sure to be an iconic moment in live theatre. Two of the production numbers incorporating most of the cast popular with the audience came in act two with "Hygge" and "Fixer Upper". I can't even begin to describe the pivotal climactic moment when Anna and the company become frozen before our eyes, but I can say it is well worth seeing.
If you think of FROZEN as being for kids, I suggest you need to think again. Like the stage version of Disney's Lion King before it, this production is high quality live theatre that excels on multiple levels. There is quite a lot to see, experience, and enjoy in FROZEN both for the young and the young at heart.
Disney's FROZEN, The Hit Broadway Musical continues through November 24 at Proctors in Schenectady. Visit: https://www.proctors.org/event/frz/ for tickets and information.