BWW Review: FROZEN JR Sparkles at BELMONT THEATRE
You know FROZEN. You probably love it. You've seen it a few times - or a hundred or more if you have small children around. You've had "Let It Go" be your earworm more than once.
Don't go "that's a kids' show at the Belmont." Yes, there are students in the show. Yes, the show appeals to a young audience. But we've seen you sniffle during the DVD before. We've heard you humming Idina Menzel. We've heard your FROZEN references in conversation. We know you love it, and we know that the Belmont's production of the student show, directed by artistic director Rene Staub, is perfectly suitable for you to attend even without borrowing your neighbor's child for cover, You do not need a minor escort to attend the Belmont's youth production with music and lyrics adapted by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez. Watch it anyway.
There's no reason not to watch it for the cast. This region is blessed with great youth performers, not all of whom are named Jonathan Groff. Katie Vohs, the production's Elsa, can belt "Let It Go" with the best, while Quinn Starrett also gives a delightful performance as sister Anna. She should; shes's a ninth grader who's already done the Harrisburg Shakespeare Festival, just as Vohs has already performed in Manhattan. And then there's the show's Kristoff, Belmont and Acts of Kindness veteran Jacob Schmidt as Kristoff, who may be the best reindeer wrangler and ice deliveryman in Arendelle but is also the most remarkably obtuse creature about understanding princesses. While Schmitt hasn't spread his wings as far as Vohs has, he's remarkably professional on a stage. The rest of the cast is similarly talented.
Kudos to Sarah Flynn for the show's choreography, ranging from interpreting storms to formal ballroom dance and to interpretations of Scandinavian folk dance. There's a great deal of footwork across the Belmont stage in this show, and it's done right.
Watch this production for a spectacular "Let It Go." Watch it for its ensemble of "Hygge." And watch it for "Reindeer are Better Than People." Watch it to see two sisters yank their kingdom back from the evil Prince Hans and his toady the Duke of Weselton (two fine performances by Gabe Clokey and Steven File). And of course you're going to watch it for Olaf (Shane Watson), the most famous snowman since Frosty. But watch it. You don't even need to disguise yourself as a kiddie to be allowed in.
At the Belmont through the 29th. Next up for Halloween will be THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE. Catch this now to cheer yourself before the scary things pop up in the Studio Theatre.