Courtney Monsma, Jemma Rix*, Sean Sinclair, Matt Lee, Thomas McGuane, Aljin Abella, Jonathan MacMillan, Lochie McIntyre
Her Majesty’s Theatre (Melbourne, Australia)
Approx 2 hours 20 minutes (including 20 minute intermission)
* During the performance I saw, Samm Hagen played the role of Elsa.
In 2013 Disney’s Frozen took the world by storm. I saw it twice in cinemas and was captivated by another magical movie from the House of Mouse. Every parent of a small child I knew was sick to tears of ‘Let It Go’ and, to be fair, if my mum still had to listen to everything I listen to, she would’ve been sick of it too.
So naturally, I was so excited to hear that the Broadway musical adaptation was coming to Australia. Of course the show hit Sydney first before heading to old Melbourne town, but I am here to tell you that it was well worth the wait!
Everything about Frozen the Musical is so amazing that it’s difficult to know where to begin, but let’s start with one of the most prominent parts — the cast.
Courtney Monsma is just perfect as Princess Anna. The joyful strength she brings to the role is so spot on for the character that I actually had something in my eye during several key moments.
While I didn’t see Jemma Rix as Elsa, understudy Samm Hagen gave a stellar performance as Queen Elsa. The fear and sorrow that are driving forces in Elsa’s story were beautifully portrayed. Hagen’s powerful rendition of ‘Let It Go’ was another moment where I found there was a little something in my eyes. Dusty old (majestic and beautiful) theatres.
Even though I knew how things end for Prince Hans (boo, hiss), Thomas McGuane’s portrayal is completely charming and dashing where needed and equally dastardly when the time is right. McGuane is so convincing at the formers that I found part of myself hoping they’d change the latter for the musical.
Sean Sinclair is fun to watch as Kristoff and embodies the gruff exterior with a heart of gold well.
I don’t know whether it was MacMillan or McIntyre playing the part of Sven in the performance I saw, but I was fascinated with the mechanics of bringing everyone’s favourite cheeky reindeer to life. The balance and co-ordination required to spend hours walking and performing with your hands and feet on hooves is simply amazing to me, who can trip over while standing still.
I loveloveLOVED Matt Lee as Olaf. While the puppet is gorgeous and controlled well by Lee, I found myself more often than not watching the actor’s facial expressions because they are just so entertaining. For the time he is on stage, it is as though Lee is completely overtaken by the spirit of the world’s favourite snowman (sorry, Frosty!) and is having the time of his life.
The costumes in Frozen the Musical are just so beautiful. During ‘Let It Go’ there is this gorgeous moment where Elsa unsnaps her cloak and it flies off into the wind and that was outstanding … but then — THEN! — she transitions from her coronation outfit into her dazzling blue ice gown and it is hands down the most impressive costume change I have ever seen on a stage. Ever. I cannot overstate how impressed or in awe I was of the transition. Simply stunning.
The stage settings are stunning, but in particular the crystalline ice palace is pure sparkling decadence. One of my favourite parts of watching Frozen the Musical is the use of the talented ensemble cast to show dynamic elements such as the snow storm towards the end of the show and also allows for quick costume changes. This was particularly impressive when Anna is frozen and the cast creates a flourish that shows she is encased in ice but also allows the actress to transform from her freezing outfit to her normal outfit.
Frozen the Musical is just quite simply a stellar production and brings the very best of Broadway to meet the very best of Disney to create something so beautiful and special. If you only see one show this year, I would highly recommend it be Frozen the Musical.