Last week, Disney Theatrical Productions Australia announced the new date for the season premiere of one of the most anticipated musicals of the year. Originally scheduled to open in Sydney in July, Frozen the Musical is now storming onto the stage from 1 December.
If you've sung 'Let It Go' karaoke-style countless times and maybe even baked an Elsa and Anna birthday cake for a child in your life, you'll understand the level of excitement from fans (both adult and pint-sized) that we (again) have a confirmed date. And even if you're not moved to belt out 'for the first time in forever' at the announcement, here are four reasons why you have to see it.
The live version is a different experience
It goes without saying that to move a story from the screen to the stage, certain elements have to be adapted to a live setting. The basic storyline of Frozen that we know and love remains the same, but with the musical playing for over two hours, compared to the film's 90 minutes, the creative team had a lot more leeway to explore the characters' motivations and mindsets.
There are 22 songs in the musical (compared to seven in the film), all written by the original composers Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Bobby Lopez, who between them have penned the music for Avenue Q, The Book of Mormon, Coco and Winnie the Pooh. There's also a huge new number for Elsa in Act Two called 'Monster', that the original Broadway Elsa Caissie Levy says rivals 'Let It Go' and is 'a real Kelly Clarkson rock anthem'.
Oaken (of Wandering Oaken's Trading Post and Sauna) has his own song too, where he shares the concept of hygge with Anna and Kristoff. We don’t want to give too much away here but expect something hilarious with a touch of 'old school Broadway' at the end.
It's got the Disney touch
If you're lucky enough to have seen Aladdin the Musical or The Lion King Musical, you'll understand that intangible quality that Disney stage productions have. Whether it's the costumes, dazzling sets or spectacular special effects – or a combination of these – somehow Disney productions bring the magic alive in ways that we can't quite articulate but that have to be seen to be believed.
It's the blockbuster production of the year
With many theatre shows and musicals postponed or cancelled, we weren't sure what to expect from live events this year. We're excited (and relieved) that the months of planning and production to bring Frozen the Musical to the stage haven't been for nothing. It's one thing that we'll have to look forward to as we start creating memories and spending time with our friends and family again. (Psst, think ahead and get your Christmas presents sorted early. Just sayin'.)
And with no seasons in other states confirmed, it's the perfect excuse for an interstate visit for non-Sydneysiders – provided travel restrictions have been relaxed.
There's an all-star cast
Playing Elsa will be Jemma Rix, one of Australia's most prominent leading ladies of musical theatre. You might remember her as Elphaba in Wicked, where she pulled off her character's complexity with such conviction. With her powerhouse voice, her rendition of the Oscar Award-winning 'Let It Go' will be spine-tingling. Courtney Monsma will take on the role of Anna; she appeared in Mamma Mia!, Aladdin and most recently in the acclaimed Six the Musical. Helpmann Award winner Matt Lee will take on the role of Olaf.