Loosely based on Hans Christian Anderson's fairytale The Snow Queen, the story takes place in the Scandinavian surrounds of Arendelle, where two royal sisters, Elsa and Anna must grow up alone after losing their parents in a tragic sea accident.
Elsa, the elder of the two must also contend with a secret - she has the power to create ice and snow with her bare hands, which she must keep secret, even from her sister, who nearly died whilst playing together as little girls. Anna by contrast is a sunny, albeit naive young lady who yearns for the outside world, having been isolated from Elsa since the accident.
When Elsa comes of age, she must take the throne as Queen, and the kingdom is reopened for her coronation - just for one day. Anna meets a handsome and charming Prince called Hans, who she instantly wishes to marry, much to Elsa's consternation. When the argument inadvertently reveals Elsa's powers, she flees to the wild North Mountain to live out a life of solitude and freedom. But Anna must find her sister and bring her back (with the help of an ice-seller, his reindeer and a talking snowman), otherwise the fate of Arendelle will be frozen forever, and left to the mercy of a cruel power.
Génèse du musical
In January 2014, Iger stated that Disney Theatrical Productions is in early development of a Broadway stage musical adaptation of Frozen. No specific date has yet been set for this adaptation. "We're not demanding speed," Iger said. "We're demanding excellence."
During Disney's February 2014 earnings call, Iger congratulated "all those involved with Frozen" and reiterated that it would "be going to Broadway." He also noted that Frozen "has real franchise potential" and predicted that "You will see Frozen in more places than you've certainly seen today."
At the end of March 2014, Del Vecho confirmed that there had been "discussions on how we can support the [film's] characters at other locations [and] [w]e are also discussing making a theatrical [musical] version of Frozen, but these things take time." In late June, Anderson-Lopez and Lopez said there will be a musical based on Frozen within "a few years".
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. After watching Frozen at a pre-release midnight screening, he texted Lasseter at 1:30 a.m. with "When can we start?" and got a call back from Lasseter within 60 seconds. Schumacher explained: "My job is to corral the writers of the movie. 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."
On February 12, 2015, the Daily Mail reported that Lopez, Anderson-Lopez, Lee, and Schumacher had been meeting with two-time Tony Award nominee Alex Timbers to discuss ideas for getting the musical into a theatre by 2017. The next day, Schumacher issued a terse statement confirming only that the songwriters were working on the show and that Lee would be writing the "book" of the stage version (the musical equivalent of a script), then stressed that "no other staffing or dates have been announced".
On July 23, 2015, The New York Times reported that among various projects, the songwriters were "writing about a dozen new songs" for the Frozen musical.
On February 9, 2016, Disney Theatrical announced that the musical was scheduled to open on Broadway in spring 2018. At that time, Disney also confirmed that several additional people were now part of the musical's creative team, including Timbers as director, as well as Stephen Oremus, Peter Darling, Bob Crowley, and Natasha Katz. Two days later, it was confirmed that the musical would first go through a 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 have been officially cast.
On April 25, the songwriters mentioned to an interviewer that they were about to head into a developmental lab next week for the musical. Anderson-Lopez explained that while "the movie only has seven-and-a-half songs ... we’ve written about 23" for the musical," in the sense that they doubled the number of original songs and then there are reprises of those. Lopez explained that the musical would follow the same story as the film, but they were adapting all the iconic moments from the film to the musical theatre environment. It was later reported that 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, and that Iger himself attended the lab at one point. However, Disney had not yet committed to a cast for the Denver tryout production.
On September 27, 2016 Disney announced the new creative team: Michael Grandage is the director and Christopher Oram is the scenic designer. Christopher Gattelli had been previously announced as choreographer. (Alex Timbers and Bob Crowley are no longer involved.) The musical will open on Broadway at the St. James Theatre. On April 17, 2017, Disney on Broadway announced that Caissie Levy will star as Elsa and Patti Murin would portray Anna. Other cast-members will include Jelani Alladin as Kristoff, Greg Hildreth as Olaf, John Riddle as Hans and Robert Creighton as Duke of Weselton. Rob Ashford also joined the creative team as the show's choreographer.
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