Disney to stage Frozen musical on Broadway

Frozen (left), the 2013 movie, was a cinematic juggernaut featuring the voices of Idina Menzel and Kristen Bell.
Frozen (above), the 2013 movie, was a cinematic juggernaut featuring the voices of Idina Menzel and Kristen Bell.PHOTO: STARHUB

The smash animated film with the power ballad will hit the stage in 2018

NEW YORK • Prepare your children. Dig out those Elsa costumes. And get ready to surrender, once again, to Let It Go.

The Snow Queen is going to the Great White Way.

Disney announced on Tuesday that it plans to bring a staged musical adaptation of Frozen, the smash animated film with the power ballad that became an Oscar-winning global earworm, to Broadway early in 2018.

The show will be the ninth musical - and 10th show overall - that Disney has brought to Broadway through its New York-based theatrical division - including The Lion King, a ground-breaking puppetry powerhouse which helped accelerate the recovery of Times Square and a rebound in the commercial theatre industry.

The company said it would mount a developmental production of Frozen outside New York, starting in the middle of next year, before taking the show to Broadway the following spring.

The show will feature the same writers as the film - music and lyrics by Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, who wrote the songs for the movie, and book by Jennifer Lee, who wrote the screenplay and co-directed the film.

Several much-praised personalities in the theatre world will shepherd the project to the stage.

The director will be Alex Timbers, an in-demand contemporary theatremaker who previously directed Disney's Peter And The Starcatcher, Rocky and Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson on Broadway.

The choreographer will be Peter Darling, who won a Tony Award for Billy Elliot and was nominated for his work on Matilda The Musical.

And the scenic and costume designer will be Bob Crowley, who has won seven Tony Awards, including for the Disney shows Aida and Mary Poppins.

Inspired by a fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen, Frozen is about a princess - Elsa, ultimately the Snow Queen of Arendelle - with a difficult-to-control ability to generate ice - and her lovingly forgiving sister, Anna.

The film, released in 2013 and featuring the voices of Idina Menzel and Kristen Bell, was a cinematic juggernaut, grossing US$400 million in the United States and nearly US$1.3 billion worldwide. It won Academy Awards for best animated film and best original song.

The song, Let It Go, has been much sung by children and much covered by grown-ups.

Frozen merchandise, including several million princess costumes, have been a huge revenue generator since the film was released.

The film even spawned an apparent boom in children named Elsa.

Disney has not yet announced a cast, a city for the pre-Broadway staging, a theatre on Broadway or exact dates for the production.

Disney now has two shows on Broadway - The Lion King and Aladdin.

NEW YORK TIMES

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 11, 2016, with the headline 'Disney to stage Frozen musical on Broadway'. Print Edition | Subscribe