The lights went down at the St. James Theater. My 3-year-old Emerson clutched her Elsa doll while giggling in anticipation as the curtain went up, revealing young Elsa and Anna playing with snow and ice while they should be sleeping. “Do you want to build a snowman?” Anna sings.
Emerson grins at me. “Mommy, it’s really Anna,” she beams, and I beam back. This is why we paid an exorbitant amount to take her and my 8-year-old to the new Broadway show, Frozen: The Musical — To watch their faces delight in a spectacular one-of-a-kind performance. But after a mixed New York Times review, we weren’t sure if Frozen would deliver.
It does. With the exception of a song or two that slows down the musical in the first act, the show packs so much magic that all four of us often wondered aloud: How did they do that? Like when Elsa touches a wall and ice shoots out in all directions, cracking across a gigantic and realistic digital screen. Or when she stomps her foot and ice veins beneath her. Sometimes snow explodes out of her hands. And the performance of ‘Let It Go’ is a true showstopper, especially when Elsa tears off her boring royal dress revealing a dazzling gown while belting out the unforgettable song.
Also, great fun is Olaf, controlled on stage by a puppeteer. After the first time you see him, you forget entirely that someone is making the snowman talk, which is a feat in itself.
My 8-year-old son loves to watch plays, so he was rapt the entire time, but we weren’t sure if the show would hold Emerson’s attention, since she was so young. But since Frozen: The Musical sticks to the movie’s musical hits closely enough, she leapfrogged from one favorite song to another. One tip: The merchandise at the show is so ridiculously expensive (stuffed Olafs are $50!) that I would get a keepsake before the show to avoid any tears about not getting a souvenir.
Here’s a clip from the show.