Frozen is headed to Broadway, and we already have a wishlist.
Earlier this week Disney CEO Bob Iger announced that the very cool animated musical would be headed for Broadway. While we might not be seeing Frozen on Broadway for some time (Iger says, “We’re not demanding speed, we’re demanding excellence.”), we can still dream.
We are still tapping our feet to “Fixer Upper” and annoying our friends with karaoke renditions of “Let It Go,” but there is no question that a Broadway adaptation of Frozen is going to need more songs. A lot more. And luckily for the creative team, the Frozen deluxe soundtrack has a range of songs composed for the film that went ultimately unused.
A lot of these songs have great potential but did not fit into the final script. Our personal favourites are the “Reindeer(s) Remix” and “Life’s Too Short,” but the seven extra songs by composers Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez certainly give the production team something to start with. And aside from these songs – the very first thing we want is a real song for Kristoff.
“Let It Go” showed that while there was danger in Elsa’s magic, there was also great beauty – and we want to see this play out on stage. Frozen includes a lot of elements that might make the transition from screen to stage more difficult than a straightforward story. Unfortunately, that is the cost of magical and fantastical stories.
The other obstacle is that the solution for magic on stage is often a smoke machine, a wind machine, or flashing lights. The visual manifestation of Elsa’s magic is so beautiful that we hope the production team finds a way to incorporate it into the show. Other problem areas? The entire “Let It Go” sequence and Elsa’s ice palace, and Olaf. Which brings us to…
Don’t take away Olaf and Sven. Olaf (Josh Gad) had one of the sweetest songs in Frozen with “In Summer,” and we would hate to lose this in the Frozen Broadway musical. And Sven made us all want to go home and get a pet reindeer, so we would be sad to see him go (and what would happen to the hilarious and adorable “Reindeer(s) are Better Than People”?
It is difficult to include non-human characters in a production without it seeming cartoonish. Frozen might have started as a cartoon, but the Broadway-style songs mean that Disney has a chance for this to be a classic Broadway production. The animals worked in The Lion King because they were all animals – in Shrek they were funny, but like we said, cartoon-y. Still, we have faith that Disney will find a way.
Frozen did well when it came to casting, and we really hope to see some of that translate into the Broadway show. Of course, when it comes to live on stage, the actors have to look the part as well as sound it. While we would happily buy Kristen Bell (Anna) and Idina Menzel (Elsa) as much younger characters if it meant seeing them together on stage, it is likely that the producers decide to go with a younger cast.
But one cast member who could stay on without question is Jonathan Groff (Kristoff). Okay, you caught us. Really, we mean “Keep Jonathan Groff.” Groff earned a Tony nomination for his work in Spring Awakening, and he certainly looks the part. That said, Menzel is one of the queens of the Broadway world, and would essentially guarantee sold out audiences every night – so maybe she is more likely to be asked that he first thought.