Review: ‘Frozen’ at St. James Theatre Left This Reviewer Cold

By Jonathan Spira on 10 April 2018
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“Frozen” has a problem. Modeled after the 2013 blockbuster Disney movie of the same title and loosely based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale “The Snow Queen,” the movie has everything you’d want in a musical: great casting, an enthralling story, romance, and a princess who shows her mettle when the going gets rough.

The Broadway show that just opened at the St. James Theatre, not so much.

To review, “Frozen,” which takes place in the fictional Scandinavian country of Arendelle, is the story of Elsa (Caissie Levy) and her younger sister Anne (Patti Murin). Elsa has a secret, namely that everything around her will freeze if she touches it, even Anna, whom she nearly turns into a popsicle. Hence she wears protective gloves and the two girls are kept separate from one another to prevent mishaps. The king and queen – Elsa and Anna’s parents – die in a shipwreck and at her coronation, with one mistaken wave of her hand, she turns her world into an eternal winter. Horrified by what happened, she flees to a remote ice palace where she can presumably cause no further harm.

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In the Broadway version, which suffers from some fatal miscasting [Murin as Anna as well as Jelani Alladin as Kristoff], the real scene stealers are two creatures, Olaf the snowman (Greg Hildreth) and Sven the reindeer (Andrew Pirozzi).

Make no mistake, there are some sensational moments. The set is incredibly beautiful and Cassie Levy’s rendition of “Let It Go” is inspired. However, Murin approaches the role of Anna with too much spunk (think Lou Grant’s complaint about Mary Richards in the “Mary Tyler Moore Show” opener) and her delivery is sometimes reminiscent of a standup comedian rather than that of a Broadway actress.

If, however, you really want to see the visually captivating story of a beautiful princess with amazing and frightening powers, consider renting the movie instead.

THE DETAILS

Frozen
St. James Theatre
246 W 44th Street
New York, N.Y. 10036
Runtime: 2 hours and 20 min.
www.frozenthemusical.com

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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