The cast bringing Disney’s Frozen to life as a Broadway musical has been revealed in full for the first time.
Canadian actress and singer Cassie Levy, who will be taking on the role of Queen Elsa, and Patti Murin as Princess Anna will be hoping to work their charms on audiences as the royal sisters whose lives are torn apart by magical powers.
Levy previously played Fantine in the 2014 Broadway production of Les Misérables and has performed in Ghost, Hairspray, Wicked and First Daughter Suite. Murin will bring princess Anna to life, Broadway credits include Lysistrata Jones and Xanadu and she is currently appearing in NBC’s Chicago Med.
The actress has been close to the project for at least a year and took part in a private reading of the stage version in May 2016 as Anna, opposite Betsy Wolfe who played Elsa.
The leading cast is completed by Jelani Alladin in the role of Kristoff, Greg Hildreth as Olaf, John Riddle as Hans and Robert Creighton as the Duke of Weselton.
Frozen is due to open on Broadway in the spring of 2018 at the St. James Theatre and will be directed by Michael Grandage with a book by the movie’s director and screenwriter Jennifer Lee.
Eager fans won’t have to wait long for a first glimpse of the stage versions with rehearsals due to start this June and an out-of-town tryout scheduled for August 17 until October 1 at the Buell Theatre, Denver Center for the Performing Arts.
The Disney animated feature film takes inspiration from Hans Christen Anderson’s The Snow Queen and tells the tale of princess Anna, who embarks on an epic quest to save her kingdom after her magical sister, Queen Elsa, accidentally casts a curse causing an infinite winter.
The new adaptation will keep to the original plot but promises to delve deeper into the characters and relationships, giving fans ” lots of new material” according to songwriting couple Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, who have been working on the stage show.
The husband and wife team, who created the original score, are confirmed to produce the music and lyrics for the production and spoke last year about their plans for the show, admitting that there will be at least 12 new tracks.
Anderson-Lopez told PlayBill last April: “The movie only has seven-and-a-half songs, and we’ve written about 23…As many songs that are in the movie, we’ve doubled it, and then there are reprises.
“There’s a lot of new material – using some of the motifs that you already know from the movie – but going much deeper into all of the characters.”
Frozen-mania swept the world in 2013 taking nearly $1.3billion at the worldwide Box Office and going on to become the highest-grossing animated film of all time. Countless awards followed including two Academy Awards for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song for Let It Go.
Following its huge success, Disney wasted no time getting started on a theatre version and confirmed just two months after its release that they were in the early stages of development of an adaptation.
It’s not the only development in the Frozen universe with Disney currently working on Frozen 2 with lead actresses Idina Menzel and Kristen Bell reprising their roles as Elsa and Anna.
No release date for the highly anticipated sequel has been announced and Kristen Bell admitted to Collider magazine last year that fans could be in for a wait: “What I know about that whole team is that they wouldn’t just put something out to put it out.
“That’s why it took them so long to even announce that we were doing a second one. Generally when you have a first successful movie you want to make a second one. It took them a while because they wanted to figure out what story they needed to tell and what would be important and engaging and I think they found it.” (sic)
The arrival of Frozen in theatres will at least give fans something to cheer about as Disney continue to expand their Broadway empire, which started in 1994 with a stage version of Beauty and The Beast.
That was soon followed by The Lion King in 1997, which has been their biggest success story, taking over $1billion in sales since doors opened a decade ago and currently ranks as the third-longest-running show in Broadway history, with over 8,000 performances.
Tarzan, The Little Mermaid and most recently Aladdin have all received their own stage adaptations with fans flocking to see their favourite Disney movies brought to life.
Disney’s plans for Broadway won’t be stopping at Frozen either, with rumored future productions including The Jungle Book and Pinnochio.