Once upon a time, in a far away land, there lived a pair of beautiful sisters who loved the snow, a courageous young man who loved the ice, and a dastardly fiend intent on bringing eternal summer to the now-snowy kingdom. Through song and dance, a host of comical characters battle it out for meteorological supremacy.
Should you see it?
Billed as a “witty, wintery family musical”, I’ll admit I was worried about being way out of Freezing’s target demographic when it started with an energetic, outrageously friendly, happy beaver introducing herself to the audience and encouraging participatory shouts of “Flap, flap!” for her tail. My fears were quickly put to rest however as the show grew into something much more than a princess-filled fairy tale.
The story is simple to follow, even for people who haven’t seen Disney’s animated hit Frozen upon which this show is themed. Snow Globe Kingdom is ruled by the flamboyant Queen Gerda who hates winter but puts up with it because of her snow-loving daughters, Princess Adele and Princess Hana. The villainous Hans along with his sidekick troll plot to rid the land of our favorite blustery season, first by marrying into the royal family and then by using a weather machine to stop winter once and for all. Opposing him are the feisty princesses, our beaver friend, a moose, and the rugged “ice man”, Krisco. The ending is a little abrupt and predictably happy but has enough of a twist as to not be wholly foreseen.
This is a purely fun show with something for everyone: kids get to “boo” the bad guy, see their favorite princesses in action, and maybe even participate in a little game of hockey; young adults can sympathize with Princess Hana and Krisco’s awkward romance while grooving along to parody versions of all the latest pop songs; and grown-ups get to laugh at the smart references to politics and local news – though the scene depicting decommissioned senators as the Three Little Pigs was a bit much.
The whole family will definitely enjoy the astonishing talents of this impressive ensemble. Chad Connell is charming as Krisco and adorable as his humorous sidekick Moose, a puppet with personality! Broadway alum Gab Desmond is hilarious prancing around as Queen Gerda, Cara Pantalone’s Beavertail is loveable and spunky, and Jessica Vandenberg’s voice is so beautiful it practically shimmers. Everything from the costumes to choreography is well done, making this a real visual and musical treat.
There were just a few missteps in my opinion. The commercial from the show’s sponsors breaks up the action despite being relatively amusing and cleverly including our heroes within it. The sets are basically projected images depicting a troll’s cave, a shimmering palace, an icy forest, and more. This works reasonably well but takes some adjusting to get used to.
Overall however this is definitely one of the best shows I’ve seen this holiday season and I’d highly recommend it even if, like me, your favorite winter activity is staying inside. Freezing will warm your heart and melt away your winter woes!
But that’s just my opinion and I’d love to know what you think. Do you want to build a snowman with Princesses Adele and Hana, or would you rather watch movies and drink hot chocolate with Queen Gerda? Did this show live up to its origin tale, or was Frozen the movie a better musical adventure? Let us know in the comments section below!