A few weeks ago, we flew to Toronto to catch an early look at Frozen, A Musical Spectacular, the newest original Broadway-style Disney Cruise Line show that kicks off on the newly-enhanced Disney Wonder on November 10. Naturally, we took copious notes so that we could tell you everything we learned. Our main takeaway? The show lives up to its name: It is most definitely going to be spectacular. Of course, if you’re like us, you want details about exactly what we mean by that. Well, keep reading!
1. The creative team is insanely talented.
The production is led by Tony Award-nominated director Sheryl Kaller, who directed Next Fall and Mothers and Sons on Broadway. She also has two daughters, so she really understands this sister story. Add in Tony Award-winning costume designer Paloma Young, Broadway choreographer Josh Prince, scenic designer Jason Sherwood, and puppetry by Michael Curry, and you’ve got a glacier-sized dose of creative brainpower.
2. And yes, the original team weighed in.
The original Frozen team, including writers Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez and John Lasseter, have all jumped in to give feedback, tips, and input. As writer Sara Wordsworth said, “The greatest compliment we can get is when audience members say, ‘That was Frozen!’ But Frozen in a way they’ve never seen before.”
3. You’re going to want to sing your heart out.
The show will be underscored by an original recording with a 50-piece orchestra, and songs like “For the First Time in Forever” and “Love is an Open Door” will be expanded into ensemble pieces. Also, everybody in the cast can sing. We were happy sobbing by the end of “Let It Go” and we’re 100% confident that you will be, too.
4. Prepare yourself for Elsa’s transformation.
Elsa’s transformation will be a show-stopping moment, featuring what costume designer Paloma Young describes as “traditional magic.” While Young wouldn’t give away her secrets, she did tell us that it will all happen right before your eyes and you’ll get to see the kind of surprises that are only possible in a live stage show. “It’s difficult to describe, and that is the feeling that we’re going for—that you should just watch a garment completely transform onstage.” Specifically, watch with jaw fully dropped.
5. Also, prepare yourself for all kinds of other transformations.
Speaking of costumes, the dresses in the coronation scene are inspired by the beautiful Norwegian wallpaper in Arendelle Castle, and function as both costumes and … set pieces? Yup. In this show, transformations upon transformations upon transformations are everywhere.
6. The magic of dance is in full force.
How is choreographer Josh Prince going to make it look like there are countless doors onstage in “Love Is an Open Door” and countless Rock Trolls in “Fixer Upper”? Through dance. “We use the magic of dance to tell the story of multiple locations: bursting through doors, in and around corners, and under archways,” Prince told us. In other words, there’s a lot going on, and it all choreographs together beautifully in a larger-than-life kind of way.
7. “In Summer” is a musical theater fan’s dream come true.
Just get ready for Busby Berkeley-style sunflowers and all of the happy feels.
8. And there are puppets!
Olaf and Sven are both dynamic and adorable puppets, and young Anna and Elsa are, too. We got to see just how Sven and Olaf got turned into puppet form, so take a look:
There countless other surprises in the show, but don’t worry—amidst all of the surprises is the story that we all adore. As Sheryl Kaller says, “Theater is a place where we can open up our minds and our imaginations and our hearts to the story of these sisters. The true love that emanates from them and through them to the audiences on the cruise line has been a very special privilege.” Cue a flurry of heart eyes emojis.
Are you planning to see Frozen, A Musical Spectacular aboard the Disney Wonder? Tell us what you’re most excited about in the comments!