‘Frozen’ Musical Review Roundup: Disney Classic Stage Version Receives Mixed Notices
Winter Storm Toby was not the only way snow hit New York City as the adaption of Disney’s Frozen premiered on Broadway on Thursday night.
The play is directed by Tony Award-winner Michael Grandage, and stars Caissie Levy and Patti Murin as the roles of Queen Elsa and Princess Anna, which were made famous by Idina Menzel and Kristen Bell, respectively.
Fellow cast members include John Riddle (Hans), Jelani Alladin (Kristoff), Andrew Pirozzi (Sven), and Greg Hildreth (Olaf).
While fans can see some of their favorite Frozen songs come to life, there were also some changes and additions to better fit the adaption. Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, the couple who wrote songs for the movie, including the famous “Let It Go,” which ultimately won an Oscar for Best Original Song, also created more songs to tie into the play.
Since this is not Disney’s first time screen-to-stage, with popular and successful Broadway plays like The Lion King and Aladdin, expectations for Frozen were at an all time high. However, theater critics have been giving the play a mix of warm and icy reviews.
On the positive side, Sara Holden from Vulture saw Frozen as a “theatrical extravaganza” the featured “earnest exuberance, a host of solid, sunny performances, and a surfeit of stunning visuals.”
Marilyn Stasio from Variety believes that the play had a “warmly human cast” and that the sets were “highly stylized and very theatrical.”
However, other critics thought the play should just “let it go.” Jesse Greens wrote in The New York Times that the play was “sometimes rousing, often dull, alternative dopey and anguished.” But he did agree with Stasio that all of the sets were “very beautiful to look at.”
The New York Post‘s Johnny Oleksinski disliked the show, giving it only two out of five stars. He believed that it was just “not a very good show.” The overall performance was “visually drab, mechanical and often boring.” He does acknowledge the strong performance from Levy and Murin, and thinks that Levy sings Elsa’s trademark song, “Let It Go,” “better than Menzel.”
On the topic of possible Tony nominations, it seems that Levy and Murin are the play’s only chance of receiving an award, as they received plenty of praise from a variety of critics.
Frozen has found it’s home at St. James Theater.