- “Love is a force of nature.”
The musical was announced on January 13, 2014 by Walt Disney Company chairman, Bob Iger, and Disney Theatrical Productions. The show held its pre-Broadway engagement at the Buell Theatre at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts from August 17 to October 1, 2017. It began previews on Broadway at the St. James Theatre on February 22, 2018 and officially opened on March 22, 2018.
On May 14, 2020, it was announced that when Broadway reopens from the COVID-19 pandemic, Frozen would not return to the St. James Theatre, having had its final performance on March 11. After 841 performances, Thomas Schumacher, head of Disney Theatrical Productions, stated that it would no longer be economically sustainable for the company to run 3 shows simultaneously on Broadway amidst recent economic challenges. This does not affect the current North American tour or any other current or upcoming produnctions both domestic and internationally.
The story follows the tale of two estranged sisters, Princess Anna and Princess Elsa, who was born with the power of ice and snow. After losing control of her abilities, Elsa inadvertently sets off an eternal winter that consumes her kingdom. It is then up to Anna to traverse the snowy mountains to find her sister and return her home.
It was confirmed on July 23, 2015, that the songwriting team from the original film, Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, will return to write new songs for the production. Over a dozen new songs had been conceptualized by the show's first run in Denver. Co-director/screenwriter Jennifer Lee also returned to write the book.
The production team saw the show as an opportunity to delve deeper into the characters, their backstories and their motivations. Because of this, a few of the film's action scenes were omitted, with the time being used to focus on the struggle of the characters. The show runs about twenty minutes longer than the length of the film.
Original casts of notable productions.
|Character||Denver (2017) & Broadway (2018)|
|Oaken||Kevin Del Aguila|
|King Agnarr||James Brown III|
|Queen Iduna||Ann Sanders|
|Young Anna||Audrey Bennett, Mattea Conforti|
|Young Elsa||Brooklyn Nelson, Ayla Schwartz|
Variations from the 2013 film
- Marshmallow, the rock trolls and the wolves are all omitted from the show. For Marshmallow and the wolves, the production team opted for more psychological drama, and less physical, and therefore removed their receptive set pieces and, by extension, their characters. The trolls, meanwhile, have been replaced by a group of creatures known as the hidden folk, whom are drawn from Scandinavian folklore. The role of the hidden folk is more mystical, and less cute, when compared to the rock trolls.
- The King of the Southern Isles is referenced by Hans, but does not appear.
- The Duke of Weselton is simply credited as "Weselton" in the show.
- Cliff the Troll does not appear in the show, and his role in "Fixer Upper" is taken by Pabbie.
- While the film opened with a group of ice harvesters singing "Frozen Heart" around a frozen lake, the stage show opens in a verdant landscape, with the hidden folk chanting in Norwegian. "Frozen Heart" has been omitted altogether, though instrumentals of the song do appear throughout the soundtrack.
- King Agnarr and Queen Iduna die during Anna and Elsa's childhood instead when they were teenagers in the film.
- Anna (albeit informally) meets Kristoff on Coronation Day, while bumping into Hans.
- "Let It Go" takes place after "Reindeer(s) Are Better Than People" and "In Summer".
- Anna meets Kristoff and Olaf before meeting Oaken.
- The Duke joins Hans on his expedition to Elsa's palace, not just his two men.
- The trade relationship between Arendelle and Weselton remains healthy by the end of the show, while the Duke openly reforms by pledging his loyalty to Elsa with a bow alongside the rest of Arendelle.
A narrator, one of the "hidden folk", introduces Princess Elsa of Arendelle and her playful younger sister, Anna ("Vuelie", "Anna and Elsa"). During one night after bedtime, Elsa and Anna build Olaf ("A Little Bit of You") and Elsa creates snow in their room, exciting Anna so much that she jumps from one bed to another just as Elsa accidentally injures Anna with her cryokinetic magic. Their parents, the King and Queen, call for the aid of the colony of hidden folk, led by Grand Pabbie. He heals Anna but alters her memories to remove traces of Elsa’s magic. Elsa asks for Grand Pabbie to remove her magic, but Grand Pabbie says it's a part of her, and then gives her a vision of her future, frightening Elsa, who believes that fear will cause death. The King and Queen isolate the sisters within the castle. Elsa shuts out Anna, even as Anna asks for her to come out ("Do You Want to Build a Snowman"). Elsa's fear of her powers grows as the King and Queen are powerless to help. Both parents die at sea during a storm while both princesses are still young.
Ten years later, when Elsa turns twenty-one, she is to be crowned queen of Arendelle. Anna is excited for the castle's gates to open ("For the First Time in Forever"), and bumps into the dashing Prince Hans of the Southern Isles. Both fall into ice harvester Kristoff's sled. Hans then reflects on his trip ("Hans of the Southern Isles"). Elsa is terrified that the kingdom's citizens might find out about her powers and fear her while wishing to be able to reconnect with Anna ("Dangerous to Dream"). Elsa’s coronation goes smoothly, and Elsa relaxes a bit, initiating her first contact in years with Anna. Both gleefully enjoy during the coronation together at first, with Anna talking the Duke of Weselton out of dancing with the newly crowned Queen. However, Elsa then leaves Anna after her younger sister asks about keeping the gates open. Anna then finds Hans and falls in love with Hans ("Love is an Open Door"), who then proposes to her on the spot and both share a kiss.
The newly engaged couple asks for Elsa's blessing, who objects based on the fact both have only known each other for a day. After intense questioning from Anna about shutting her out from her life, Elsa accidentally unleashing her powers before the court. The Duke brands her a monster. Elsa flees the castle to the North Mountain. In the process, however, her suppressed magic engulfs Arendelle in an eternal winter. Anna then goes out to search for Elsa, leaving Hans in charge during her absence.
Up in the mountain, Kristoff and his reindeer Sven ("Reindeers are Better than People") relax while an ill-equipped Anna (still in her coronation dress) encounters them. Kristoff gives her a spare set of winter clothes. Anna then changes into the warmer clothing, leaving her coronation dress behind in the snow. Both Kristoff and Anna disagree about love while crossing a bridge ("Who Do You Know About Love"), with Anna saving Kristoff from falling off the bridge. Anna and Kristoff then encounter a newly created Olaf, who offers to guide them to where Elsa is, and sings about his love for summer ("In Summer").
Meanwhile, in Arendelle, a soldier brings back Anna's dress from the mountain, which causes Hans to fear for Anna's safety, and then assembles a search party ("Hans of the Southern Isles (Reprise)"), with the Duke sending two of his men with different orders to kill Elsa. On the North Mountain, Elsa reflects, decides to throw away her cloak, builds an ice castle with her powers, and then transforms her coronation dress into her own ice dress ("Let It Go").
Oaken, of Wandering Oaken's Trading Post, greets the audience ("Hygge"). Anna, Kristoff, and Olaf arrive at the trading post, with Anna initially enjoying the sauna with its many other patrons. However, Kristoff convinces Oaken and his patrons to aid their journey, which enables them to get provisions and Anna gets her winter dress.
Reaching the ice palace, Anna meets Elsa, but when she reveals what has become of Arendelle, Elsa becomes angry and frustrated, saying that she can't fix it, and accidentally freezes Anna's heart ("For the First Time in Forever (Reprise)"). Elsa then kicks Anna, Kristoff, and Olaf off while wondering what to do ("Dangerous to Dream (Reprise)"). Anna's hair begins turning white, so Kristoff takes her to meet the hidden folk, his adoptive family, who recognize Anna as the princess and think she's Kristoff's fiancee ("Fixer Upper"). Grand Pabbie reveals that Anna will freeze solid unless "an act of true love" reverses the spell. Kristoff races Anna back home so Hans can give her true love's kiss, at the sacrifice of his own hidden love for her ("Kristoff Lullaby").
Back in the ice castle, Elsa wonders if she's a monster and wonders how can she end the storm, even wondering whether the storm would end or grow worse if she were dead ("Monster"). She resolves she must stay alive to end the storm, but Hans and his men reach Elsa's palace, capturing Elsa. Back at the castle, Anna is delivered to Hans, but rather than kissing her, he instead reveals that he has actually been plotting to seize the throne of Arendelle by eliminating both sisters ("Hans of the Southern Isles (Reprise 2)"). Hans locks Anna in a room to die, as Anna reflects on her mistakes while still holding on to the idea of love ("True Love"). Olaf frees Anna, and they venture into the blizzard outside to meet Kristoff, whom Olaf reveals is in love with her.
Outside the castle, Hans publicly charges Elsa with treason and sentences her to death. Elsa escapes her chains and flees outside as a blizzard grows ("Colder by the Minute"). Kristoff and Anna struggle to find each other. Hans then confronts Elsa, claiming that she killed Anna, causing Elsa to break down. Anna finally finds Kristoff but spots Hans about to kill Elsa; she leaps in the way and freezes solid, stopping Hans. Devastated, Elsa mourns over her sister, who thaws out, her heroism constituting "an act of true love". Realizing that her magic is controlled by love, Elsa ends the winter ("Vueille (Love Thaws)"). Hans gets punched by Anna, and Anna and Kristoff become a couple. Elsa and Anna reunite and reconnect without fear for the first time, as the departed King and Queen, young Elsa and young Anna appear in the background, signaling the healing of the sisters' painful past ("Resolution").
Original Denver musical numbers
- "Vuelie" - Company
- "Let the Sun Shine On" - Young Anna, Young Elsa, King, Queen and Townspeople
- "A Little Bit of You" - Young Elsa, Young Anna
- "Hidden Folk" - Queen, Pabbie, Young Elsa, King and Company
- "Do You Wanna Build a Snowman?" - Young Anna
- "For the First Time in Forever" - Anna, Elsa, Townspeople
- "Hans of the Southern Isles" - Hans
- "Dangerous to Dream" - Elsa, Townspeople
- "Love is an Open Door" - Anna, Hans
- "Reindeer(s) Are Better Than People" - Kristoff
- "What Do You Know About Love?" - Anna, Kristoff
- "In Summer" - Olaf
- "Hans of the Southern Isles (Reprise)" - Hans, Weselton, Townspeople
- "Let It Go" - Elsa
- "Hygge" - Oaken, Kristoff, Anna, Olaf
- "For the First Time in Forever (Reprise)" - Anna, Elsa
- "When Everything Falls Apart" - Olaf, Kristoff, Anna
- "Fixer Upper" - Bulda, Olaf, Hidden Folk
- "Kristoff Lullaby" - Kristoff
- "Monster" - Elsa, Hans, Volunteer
- "Hans of the Southern Isles (Reprise 2)" - Hans
- "True Love" - Anna
- "Colder by the Minute" - Pabbie, Anna, Kristoff, Elsa, Hans, Townspeople
- "Vuelie (Love Thaws)" - Townspeople
- "Resolution" - Company
Later musical changes
- "Resolution" was replaced during the Denver tryouts by a reprise of "Let It Go".
- "When Everything Falls Apart" was cut from the show shortly before its 2018 Broadway debut. It did, however, feature on the cast album.
- For the 2019 North American national tour, the song "True Love" was cut. "For the First Time in Forever (Reprise)" was replaced by a new song, "I Can't Lose You", sung by Anna and Elsa. These changes were also made to the Broadway production a few months later, following the departure of original leads Patti Murin and Cassie Levy.
- Gerard, Jeremy (April 17, 2017). "‘Frozen’ Broadway Musical Sets Its Cast; Rob Ashford Aboard In Choreographer Shuffle" (Article). Deadline.
- "Frozen the musical on Broadway tickets now on sale". ABC7 (August 14, 2017).
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- Here's the latest on the Broadway adaptation of Disney's Frozen
- Valerio, Britt (June 16, 2017). "MEET THE COMPLETE CAST AND CREW OF BROADWAY’S FROZEN" (Article). Oh My Disney.