Playbill.com has confirmed with Disney that their current hit animated musical, “Frozen,” is in the early stages of development for the legitimate stage. What does that mean? Potentially it means that “Frozen” is Broadway bound, although Disney has not confirmed at this time that Broadway is its goal. Playbill’s confirmation comes after Bob Iger, Disney’s CEO and chairman, indicated to Fortune Magazine that Disney was in discussion to develop “Frozen” into a show, but that there was no time frame. Iger was quoted as saying, “We’re not demanding speed; we’re demanding excellence.”
For fans of “Frozen” it comes as little surprise that this film could be on its way to Broadway. With fantastic and memorable musical numbers that are co-written by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and her Tony Award winning husband, Robert Lopez as well as a voice cast featuring a bevy of Broadway musical credits, it would seem that the transition from film to theater was only natural. ”Frozen” is certainly not the first film to bring in Broadway talent to voice its characters, but I can’t think of one other that was so dominated by musical theater stars including Tony Award nominees Jonathan Groff (Kristoff) and Josh Gad (Olaf), Tony Award winner Idina Menzel (Elsa), and Santino Fontana (Hans) who is currently appearing as the prince, Topher, in “Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella” on Broadway. Kristen Bell (Anna) and Alan Tudyk (Duke of Weselton) also have appeared on Broadway in musicals. We’ve yet to see any of the voice talents from Disney films play their counterparts on stage, but often by the time the films made it to the stage the actors had aged out of the roles. There’s no doubt that while Menzel is vocally stunning during “Let It Go” she’s too old to play 21-year-old Elsa, while forever young Bell could possibly pull off Anna – after all Menzel played young Elphaba in “Wicked” when she was Bell’s age. Considering Fontana is currently playing a young prince on Broadway, it’s reasonable to think he could bring Hans to the stage. I have no doubt Gad would do an awesome job bringing Olaf really to life.
Would you want to see the movie’s cast recreate their characters on stage or is there someone else you have in mind? Are you excited about the prospect of “Frozen” as a live theatrical production? Personally, I can’t wait to see it!