The theatrical spectacular “Frozen – Live at the Hyperion,” adapted from Disney’s animated blockbuster film, is now open at Disney California Adventure Park in Southern California, and is a definite must-see for anyone visiting the Disneyland Resort. The new hour-long theatrical interpretation for the stage (entirely separate from the Broadway production that is currently being prepared by Disney Theatrical Productions for a spring 2018 debut in New York) immerses audiences in the beloved world of Frozen and takes audiences on the heartwarming journey of Anna and Elsa with elaborate costumes and sets, show-stopping production numbers, and awe-inspiring special effects.
All of the film’s major moments and songs are there, redesigned and reimagined to fit the Hyperion Theater’s beautiful stage, and the show always makes sure to keep the relationship between the sisters at its center. While the Disneyland Resort is typically all about the happiness and magic, and that’s definitely present in this show, there are many heartfelt emotional moments that may even bring a tear or two, as you laugh and cheer and enjoy every minute, no matter how many times you’ve seen the movie, or have heard or sung along yourself to “Let It Go.”
Collider was invited to experience the media preview on the evening prior to its official public opening, and then sit in on a panel with Executive Creative Director Dana Harrel, Tony award nominated director Liesl Tommy, choreographer Christopher Windom and musical supervisor/arranger/adaptor Jason Michael Webb, who all shared their own personal experiences with the show. From that chat and from the facts about the production itself, we’ve compiled a list of 16 things that you should know about “Frozen – Live at the Hyperion.”
The show’s Executive Creative Director Dana Harrel worked with Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez at the La Jolla Playhouse. When they approached her about putting together a team for the Frozen stage adaptation, she was worried about how to do the movie justice. Because of the love that her own two daughters had for Frozen, she knew they would need to stay true to the movie while creating an adaptation that’s timeless.
- The essence of the story of Frozen is the relationship between the sisters. As a result, they needed a director who could grab that emotion and bring it out to the 2,000 seats in the theater. So, Harrel brought Liesl Tommy, who is nominated for a Tony award for Best Director for Eclipsed (starring Lupita Nyong’o) on board to direct.
- To prepare for taking on this live stage adaptation, Tommy immersed herself in almost all of the Disney films, and then circled back to Frozen. One of the things that Disney does so well is to explore the sadness of childhood through abandonment, the loss of a parent, and a sense of loneliness, and she never wanted to lose sight of that emotional intensity. So, whether they’re in the middle of comedy or grand romantic gestures, at the center, there always had to be that heart and that yearning to connect.