Frozen is a musical with music and lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez and book by Jennifer Lee based on the 2013 film of the same name.
Produced by Disney Theatrical Productions, it premiered at the Buell Theatre, Denver Center for the Performing Arts in August 2017 and is scheduled to be mounted on Broadway in spring 2018 at the St. James Theatre.
The first priority [for Disney Theatrical] ... is when you have a property that is as beloved and music-based as Frozen, that has to get an enormous amount of my attention. To say, "How do we take this and make a sophisticated, adult evening of theater out of it?"
In January 2014, Bob Iger, CEO of The Walt Disney Company stated that Disney Theatrical Productions was in early development of a stage adaptation of Frozen that it planned to bring to Broadway. No date was set for the adaptation. "We're not demanding speed," Iger said. "We're demanding excellence." One of the film's producers, Peter Del Vecho, later reiterated that "these things take time." In an October 2014 interview, Thomas Schumacher, the president of Disney Theatrical Group, disclosed that discussions about a musical had begun even before the film was released almost a year earlier. He stated: "I'm already talking to directors, and I have a design concept, and we have to begin to fashion this idea. It doesn't need to be fast. It needs to be great."
In February 2015, Schumacher confirmed that the songwriters were working on the show and that Lee would be writing the book but that "no other staffing or dates have been announced". By early 2016, Disney announced that the musical was scheduled to open on Broadway in spring 2018, with Alex Timbers as director and Peter Darling as choreographer and Stephen Oremus as music supervisor, among other creative staff. Disney also scheduled the pre-Broadway tryout in August 2017 at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. In April 2016, it was reported that Betsy Wolfe had been cast as Elsa, but a Disney spokesperson said on April 26 that no roles had been officially cast. Anderson-Lopez told an interviewer that while "the movie only has seven-and-a-half songs ... we've written about 23" for the musical". The musical's first developmental lab was held over two weeks during May 2016 in New York City, with Betsy Wolfe as Elsa, Patti Murin as Anna, Okieriete Onaodowan as Kristoff, and Greg Hildreth as Olaf.
In September 2016, Disney announced a new director, Michael Grandage, and set designer Christopher Oram, who also acts as costume designer. It confirmed that the musical is set to open on Broadway at the St. James Theatre in spring 2018. In April 2017, Disney announced that Caissie Levy and Patti Murin will star as Elsa and Anna. The cast was also announced to include Jelani Alladin as Kristoff, Greg Hildreth as Olaf, John Riddle as Hans and Robert Creighton as the Duke of Weselton. Rob Ashford joined the creative team as choreographer.
The tryout began at the Buell Theatre in Denver, Colorado, on August 17, 2017, and ran until October 1, 2017. Previews at the St. James are scheduled to begin on February 22, 2018, with an opening scheduled for March 22, 2018. Other designers include Natasha Katz (lighting) and Michael Curry (puppets). Stephen Oremus serves as music supervisor.
Characters and original cast