Few shows have created more pre-Broadway buzz than the stage version of the smash-hit Disney musical, Frozen. After years of speculation about when and how the story would make its way to the stage, theatre fans can finally start the official countdown to its Broadway premiere in 2018. The movie starred the voices of theatre favorites Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad and Santino Fontana. Recently, Disney announced some principal cast members who would head to Arendelle on Broadway. So what do we know about them? Let’s take a look at some of Frozen’s exciting mix of fresh and familiar faces!
Caissie Levy as Elsa
Appropriately enough, Frozen’s Elsa got her start in the same show that turned her big-screen counterpart, Idina Menzel, into a bonafide star. Since going green as Elphaba in Wicked, Levy has become a regular presence on Broadway. She’s played flower-child Sheila Franklin in Hair, supernatural skeptic-turned-believer Molly Jensen in Ghost, and spent time on the infamous barricade as Fantine in Les Misérables. “Feisty and vulnerable” describes Elsa, and that’s exactly how USA Today described Levy’s performance in Hair. After becoming a mother last spring, Levy’s take on the ice princess will cement her popularity with another generation of theatregoers as she adds Elsa to her repertoire.
Patti Murin as Anna
Patti Murin made her Broadway debut in Xanadu, so she’s already a pro at skating around onstage. She’ll trade her experience on the roller rink for a kingdom of ice as she plays her first Disney princess, Anna of Arendelle. It’s easy to see why Murin, who The New York Times called “engagingly earnest” and “delightful” in Lysistrata Jones, was chosen to play Frozen’s plucky heroine. Murin also happens to be an active blogger (check it out here), and writes about everything from her weekly goals to her thoughts on The Bachelor. After being offered the role of Anna, it’s safe to say that she’ll have plenty to write about in 2017.
Jelani Alladin as Kristoff
One name you may not have been as familiar with in the cast announcement is Jelani Alladin. Alladin will make his Broadway debut as Frozen’s reindeer-loving, ice-harvesting, fixer-upper. As a recent grad from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, he’s wasted no time in building up his theatrical resume. Regionally, Alladin has taken on iconic roles like the Emcee in Cabaret, and Coalhouse in Ragtime, and even took home a San Francisco Critics Circle Award for his performance as Pharus Jonathan Young in Choir Boy. In Frozen, he’ll spend his time winning over both audiences and Anna as he makes his high-profile entrance onto the Broadway stage.
Greg Hildreth as Olaf
Everyone’s favorite snowman is in good hands with Greg Hildreth, who has plenty of experience with fairy tales. His credits include both the Broadway and Off-Broadway productions of Peter and the Starcatcher—the charming, whimsical prequel to Peter Pan, and Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella. In an interview just last March, he hinted that he was working on something that he wasn’t at liberty to talk about just yet. Now that Frozen has been announced, Hildreth can be sure that no one will stop talking about him or his new project anytime soon.
John Riddle as Hans
John Riddle is no stranger to high-profile theatrical endeavors. He made his Broadway debut two years ago in The Visit, starring Broadway legend Chita Rivera. He also performed in My Paris, a new musical adaptation by Jason Robert Brown about famous Parisian artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, which debuted last May at the Long Wharf Theatre in Connecticut. The League of Cincinnati Theatres named him as one of their Rising Stars while he was studying theatre at CCM, and it seems like they were right to bank on Riddle.
Robert Creighton as the Duke of Weselton
The hilarious Disney vet Robert Creighton takes on the role of the Duke of Weselton, Frozen’s secondary antagonist who spends much of his time perpetually frustrated by the inaccurate pronunciation of his title. Creighton, having played a sometimes-murderer in The Mystery of Edwin Drood, bossy meerkat Timon in The Lion King, and token nice guy Amos Hart in Chicago, is one of the most versatile character actors on Broadway. We may not be rooting for the Duke, but in the hands of an actor like Creighton, we will most assuredly enjoy rooting against him.
Frozen features a score by Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, who wrote the score for the animated film, and a book by screenwriter Jennifer Lee. Michael Grandage directs the production with choreography by Rob Ashford. Frozen is produced by Disney Theatrical Productions.