Stage Adaptation of Disney’s Frozen Gets Month-Long Lab in NY Starting Today

News   Stage Adaptation of Disney’s Frozen Gets Month-Long Lab in NY Starting Today
 
The Broadway-bound musical is working with a new director.
<i>Frozen</i>
Frozen Disney Enterprises, Inc.

The stage adaptation of Disney’s blockbuster animated film musical Frozen receives a month-long developmental lab in New York City starting today ahead of an announced pre-Broadway world premiere at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts in 2017.

According to an Equity casting notice, the developmental lab takes place October 24-November 18. Frozen is scheduled to premiere at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts in August 2017 and open on Broadway at the St. James Theatre in spring 2018.

Award-winning director Michael Grandage and scenic designer Christopher Oram—collaborators on the Tony-winning drama Red—joined the show’s creative team in September. Grandage replaced the previously announced Alex Timbers.

“Making the tough calls when creating a new Broadway musical is never easy, but this was especially painful,” Thomas Schumacher, president of Disney Theatrical Productions, said in an earlier statement. “Alex Timbers is one of the most exciting and innovative theatre directors I know, and we’ve proudly worked with him from my support of the early development of Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson through our work together on Peter and the Starcatcher. Though we have chosen to go in another direction with this role, we are committed to seeing Frozen’s tremendous theatrical potential brought to life onstage.”

Christopher Gattelli, the Tony-winning choreographer of Disney’s Newsies, is designing the dances.

The fall lab brings together a fresh creative team who join Oscar-winning “Let It Go” songwriters Robert Lopez (The Book of Mormon, Avenue Q) and Kristen Anderson-Lopez (In Transit), along with original film screenwriter Jennifer Lee.

The lab will provide the creators roughly four weeks of rehearsals with a full cast, in order to test the screen-to-stage adaptation, which includes nearly a dozen new songs.

“To most songwriters that haven’t done it before, you would even think, ‘What’s really to be done?’ You know? It’s a musical movie and you put the musical movie onstage. There’s a lot more to it than that,” Robert Lopez told Playbill.com in a recent interview.

READ: THE CHALLENGES IN ADAPTING FROZEN FOR THE BROADWAY STAGE

“So we realized, ‘Oh my Gosh, we’re not writing five [new] songs. We’re gonna be writing ten or 12. Not only that, the elements of the movie that are really kind of not theatrical, like close-ups and action sequences, all of that needs to be done through musical storytelling. That’s that area where you really have to be creative, in terms of some restructuring and some rethinking and just, hopefully, smart choices.”

Disney held a private reading of Frozen last spring that featured Betsy Wolfe as the ice-loving princess Elsa; Patti Murin as Anna, the devoted sister; and Okieriete Onaodowan as Kristoff.

No official casting for the lab has been announced.

Read more about Frozen’s Broadway plans and the designers who will bring it to life on stage.