'Frozen The Musical' Early Buzz: Critics Run Hot And Cold On The Disney Stage Adaptation

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Is Frozen The Musical a Disney stage adaptation that you should let go? Or will you melt with love for it? The consensus seems to be divided in Frozen The Musical early buzz.

The musical, which made its Broadway debut on March 22, 2018 after a brief preview run in Denver last year, was one of the most hotly anticipated musicals of the year. Based on the massively successful 2013 movie that dominated Disney merchandise for years, Frozen The Musical looked like it could do no wrong. The book is written by Frozen writer-director Jennifer Lee with music by Oscar-winning duo Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, who penned 12 new songs for the production. But does that help Frozen The Musical sing with critics?

Below, see what critics are saying about Frozen The Musical.

The New York Times calls Frozen The Musical a "beautiful" stage production that struggles to find the balance between "the somber and the silly":

Forget girl power, sisterly love and the high-belt clarion call of "Let It Go." Anxiety over the handling of a precious gift is the theme that comes through loudest in "Frozen," the sometimes rousing, often dull, alternately dopey and anguished Disney musical that opened on Broadway on Thursday.

Entertainment Weekly agrees, noting that the "musical seems at times to be pulled between its elegant virtues and its cartoon instincts," a natural obstacle when adapting a literal cartoon movie to the Broadway stage:

Broadway's Frozen, opening Thursday at the St. James Theatre, is walking a delicate rope bridge in a blizzard. The sets are crystalline or candlelit; the sisterly angst between its leads is all too human. There are elements of the production that feel so intimate as to be brand new. But this is an adaptation of a Disney sensation, and it debuts to an audience of fans young and old who know every word of the original — in some cases, not by choice. In bringing the 2013 animated hit to the Great White Way, the film's original creative team — composers Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez and writer Jennifer Lee — face the unenviable task of turning a family movie into something a little sleeker, a little deeper, and a little more sophisticated, all without losing its most beloved elements. They aren't reinventing the snowman, but they've certainly built a better Frozen.

The Daily Beast was less kind to Frozen, criticizing the "humongous gaps in the fabric" of the story and change in protagonist from Elsa (Caissie Levy) to Anna (Patti Murin):

Such an ambitiously conceived tale of sibling estrangement and reuniting deserves a better story. The stakes never seem less than high—life and death, the future of the country, betrayal and treason—but the stakes have gotten so high for the bizarrest, stupidest reasons.

Elsa isn't the star of this Frozen, Anna is. It is Anna's bravery, humor, and wit that resonate. Elsa is so imperious and so alone she comes across more as an object of pity than admiration.

The LA Times calls Frozen The Musical a "relentlessly perky stage adaptation," but praises the sisterly dynamic between Elsa and Anna:

There's much to admire in a modern fairy tale that wants to resist the romantic traps of the genre. "Frozen" elevates the bond between sisters over more traditional hetero-normative endings. The refreshingly female-centered story is laden with nuggets of updated moral wisdom.

The BBC praised the special effects of the show, especially the puppet effects that bring to life popular sidekicks Olaf and Sven:

The puppet design provided for Sven and Olaf the snowman is a highlight of this Frozen, which had its official opening night on Thursday. Credit for this goes to puppet designer Michael Curry, who previously made magic as Julie Taymor's collaborator on The Lion King, Disney's longest-running Broadway hit.

InsidetheMagic.Net called it a perfect stage adaptation for fans of the original 2013 film:

If you're a fan of "Frozen," you will no doubt love this show. It stays true to the movie and brings Elsa's powers to life on stage in ways that will make you believe in the magic of theater. Even if you don't know "Frozen" that well, this is really a show about family and unconditional love, so it's a wonderful way to spend time with loved ones.

Frozen The Musical is currently playing on Broadway. You can buy tickets here.