Thursday, August 23, 2018

Hygge means... (Frozen March 2018)




Disney has a new show on Broadway since Aladdin opened four years ago and I am so happy about it.
Disney manages to put on the most spectacular shows. I’m talking amazing lighting, amazing set design,
costumes, and choreography. They also manage to put the Disney magic into their shows and I still
can’t figure out how. Frozen has been in the talks to be on Broadway since the film came out in 2013
and they had the theatre booked since Something Rotten! closed in the beginning of 2017. Getting
tickets for this show was going to be tricky, especially since I knew I wouldn’t have the money for the
tickets.

Commence Plan A! I was planning to use the money I hope to receive from tax refunds towards buying
a ticket and had accepted that I would most likely not be able to see the show until late summer maybe
even later than that. If I could see in at some point in 2018, I would consider myself lucky.

However, I decided to enter the lottery and see what would happen. Having never won the lottery for a
show, I figured I would probably never win and it would turn into a Hamilton situation where I would still
be entering the lottery whenever I get the chance three years later. As I stated previously in my Escape
to Margaritaville review, I do not like going to see shows in previews because the show is constantly
changing up to opening night. I figured the chances of winning lottery would be slim and I would go
ahead and start entering the lottery.

The way the lottery is set up is interesting. First off, like many shows that offer lottery tickets, it’s an
online lottery which is very convenient as you don’t have to go to the theater a certain amount of time
before the show to enter and then be down in that area for no reason essentially if you lose. What was
interesting about this lottery is that you could enter for up to a week of performances for any of the
performances that you could attend. I entered the lottery on a Friday and entered the shows I could see
from that Sunday through the next Sunday and then just put it to the back of my mind.

Early Saturday afternoon, I was watching Netflix before I had to be somewhere late that afternoon and
saw that I got a text from a six-digit number. Not putting much thought into it, I stupidly assumed it was
just my pharmacy texting me saying that I was due for a refill on my prescription and went back to
watching Netflix. A couple of minutes later, I had a text from a friend so I opened my messages and
ended up seeing the beginning of the first text I had received and it was telling me that I had won the
lottery for the performance the next day, the Sunday matinee.

I was speechless and literally on the floor freaking out. This has never happened to me before and
honestly I didn’t really know what to do. The first thing I did was call my friend to tell her to cancel any
plans she had for tomorrow because she was coming with me to see Frozen, because I knew she
wanted to see it also. After we had our freak out, I finally went through the steps to claim my lottery
tickets. It was an interesting process because they gave you four options to for seats to purchase
through a code given to you in an email. I put way too much thought into where to sit and by the time
I decided on which seats to pick, the only seats left were in the balcony. At that point, I decided it didn’t
really matter where we sat because we were seeing Frozen regardless.

Sunday morning, I had to arrive at the theater two hours before curtain to pick up my tickets from the
box office and then my friend and I met at Schmackary’s for our traditional purchase of cookies before
seeing a show. Once we were back at the theatre for the show, they were letting people into the theatre
to shop merchandise and purchase any food and drinks. We decided to look at the shirts and ended up
purchasing the same shirt. It wasn’t until later, that I realized that the logo of the show with the icicle has
a silhouette of Elsa in it. Along with our purchase, we also received a free collectible pin that one would
find at any of the Disney parks or stores for collecting or trading. This pin was in commemoration of
attending Elsa’s coronation.

We noticed that the audience was mostly kids, as we expected at a Disney show, especially Frozen.
Unfortunately, this caused a lot of disturbance throughout the show, such as the child in front of us
screaming during Elsa’s new song in Act 2. We figured that because it was an afternoon show and we
were in the cheapest section of the theatre, there were many families up there, which was confirmed
when another friend saw the show that Thursday evening in the mezzanine and there weren’t as many
children around.

For our performance, the role of Elsa was being performed by the standby, Alyssa Fox, who was
making her debut in the show. While we were a little disappointed in missing Caissie Levy in the role, there’s something special about seeing an actor performing a role for the first time.
Throughout the show, you could tell that she was slightly nervous, which was understandable, but she
still put on a great performance with very minimal noticeable mistakes throughout the show.

The show itself was amazing and I did not expect to be as blown away by it as I was. The songs they
added to the show were perfect for expanding the plot line from the movie and created more depth to
each of the characters. I loved how they created Sven for the stage, how it is an actor in the costume
walking around. The lighting was amazing and I am still slightly upset that it did not receive a Tony
Nomination, along with set design. I as a strong contender to win Best New Musical, against The Band’s
Visit.

I loved how they expanded on the song "Fixer Upper" as it was the dud song in the movie and how they changed the characters for the theatre. I also
loved how the guy who own the store has his own song in the show and it’s the opening number for
Act 2. It was such a fun number to watch and was a full on dance number as Disney is known for in
their shows. The use of the ensemble members were amazing, especially at the end when Anna is
trying to get to Kristoff at the end and ends up saving Elsa instead before turning into ice. The vocals
they wrote for the ensemble for that scene is chilling and the use of the ensemble to help Anna turn
into ice along with the lighting blew me away.

I know many are wondering about the staging for “Let It Go”. First off it has the perfect placement as
the Act 1 closing number, similar to “Defying Gravity” in Wicked, which is also ironic as both of the Elsa’s
are former Elphaba’s and Elsa is a similar vocal role to Elphaba. The scenic design for the ice castle
is dazzling, complete with crystals hanging from the top of the stage and perfect fog. The magic in this
number is amazing from the gloves flying into the air to the snow coming from the palm of Elsa. The big
reveal in this number is of course the costume change into the blue dress and wow did it deserve the
enthusiastic applause that it received. I wanted to watch that costume change over and over again to
figure out how they did it. I haven’t been that blown away by a costume change since the two dress
transformations in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella.

Patti Murin is a real life Anna. Even after performing a matinee, she came out to the stage door still
bubbly and happy to see everyone. She added more layers to Anna as someone who is loyal to her
family, but also a young lady who doesn’t have much real life experience and tries to live her life
according to the fairy tales and books. She was such a joy to watch on the stage and I loved the
new songs written for Anna. Jelani Alladin plays a fun and carefree Kristoff and again his new song
adds another layer to his character. Greg Hildreth is the perfect casting for Olaf and I loved how he
matched his facial expressions to the Olaf puppet he’s controlling. John Riddle is another perfect casting for Hans. Disney has outdone themselves for the casting for this production,
as they do for each of their shows and I loved how they used color blind casting for this production.

The only part of the show that I was slightly disappointed in was the production number for “In
Summer”. While I loved how they created the scenic design for the number, it doesn’t expand past
what was written for the movie. I felt that they could have added an instrumental section to the song
and created a tap number to it. However, after seeing the big dance number in the Act 2 opener
“Hygge”, I wasn’t quite as disappointed in the lack of the tap number in “In Summer”.

Three new songs for the musical that stood out to me the most after the show and is still stuck in my
head weeks after is “Monster”, Elsa’s new Act 2 number, “What Do You Know About Love”, Anna
and Kristoffs duet, and “Hygge” Oaken’s new song. I also have to give a special shout out for Kristoff's
number, "Kristoff's Lullaby". It has been on repeat constantly for the past month. This cast recording
has been on rotation with Mean Girls and The Band's Visit.

What do you think of these new songs for the show? Have you gotten the chance to see the show yet?
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