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Theater Review : Disney's Frozen at The Kennedy Center

Frozen, a much-loved modern-day Disney classic, is currently being performed as a Broadway musical at the world-renowned Kennedy Center. This adaptation includes the popular songs from the original Oscar-winning film and a dozen new numbers composed by the film's songwriters, Oscar winner Kristen Anderson-Lopez, and EGOT winner Robert Lopez.

The play brilliantly captures the essence of the beloved film, following its captivating plot with great attention to detail. For those who haven't seen it, here's a glimpse into the exciting story: As the kingdom finds itself trapped in a never-ending winter, the fearless Anna (played by the talented Lauren Nicole Chapman) teams up with the rugged mountaineer Kristoff (expertly portrayed by Dominic Dorset) and his loyal reindeer sidekick. Their mission? To find Anna's sister, Snow Queen Elsa (played by the incomparable Caroline Bowman), and end her icy curse. 

Anna and Kristoff's epic journey takes them through a vast and magical landscape, where they encounter mystical trolls and a hilarious snowman (played by the ever-entertaining Jeremy Davis) and face harsh conditions at every turn. Despite the odds stacked against them, Anna and Kristoff press on, determined to save their kingdom from winter's icy grip.

It was a delightful experience to watch the young audience eagerly waiting for their favorite moments to be recreated on stage during the play. Everyone had their eyes on Bowman's Elsa, who would be performing the show-stopping song 'Let It Go,' which marked the end of Act One. The creative team designed Act One to build anticipation towards the song, transporting you into a musical delight. Caroline Bowman gave her rendition of the popular song without trying to surpass the film version.

As she travels through an eternal winter to save her sister, Anna, portrayed by Chapman, displays a natural confidence. When her isolated castle is opened to guests for her sister's coronation, she is full of excitement and innocence. She falls in love with Hans (played by the toxic Preston Perez), the Disney prince of her dreams, and engages in playful banter with Kristoff (Dorsett, who deserves more lead roles) while discovering her inner strength. The chemistry between Dorsett and Chapman reminded me of a romantic comedy from the 1980s.

One of the things I was most curious about was how the creative team would pull Olaf. Jeremy Davis gives the character a ventriloquist vibe, which works to significant effect. The rest of the cast follows the typical archetypes you would expect from a Disney adaptation on the screen. Like most movies that receive a stage adaptation, Frozen may get a side eye from some viewers who think it's too reliant on nostalgia. However, Frozen is worth your time if you want a top-tapping musical that will make you smile.

Final Grade: B+

Frozen runs until Jan 21st at The Kennedy Center. For tickets and shows times, vist Disney's Frozen | Kennedy Center (


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