Disney, which is already planning a Broadway musical adaptation of its Oscar-winning animated film hit Frozen, has announced a second project based on the film, an immersive theme park theatre experience titled Frozen – Live at the Hyperion, which is planning a May 27 premiere in California.
Disney is promising a blizzard of special effects, including snow inside the playhouse.
Opening at the Hyperion Theater at Disney California Adventure Park, the new musical is described thus in press notes: “Audiences will be immersed in the emotional journey of Anna and Elsa with all of the excitement of live theater, in an entertaining musical adaptation that includes elaborate costumes and sets, stunning special effects, show-stopping production numbers and unique theatrical surprises.”
The challenge of bringing the snowman Olaf and the Trolls to the stage has been assigned to puppet designer Michael Curry, who co-designed with director Julie Taymor the puppets of The Lion King on Broadway.
The musical features music and lyrics by the creators of the film score, Kristen Anderson-Lopez (In Transit, Up Here) and Robert Lopez (Avenue Q, The Book of Mormon, Up Here ), and is adapted from the screenplay by four-time Tony nominee Chad Beguelin (Aladdin, Gotta Dance, The Wedding Singer, Elf).
The show will be produced by Disney Creative Entertainment, the arm of Walt Disney Imagineering responsible for live theatrical entertainment at Disney Parks, and whose Aladdin - A Musical Spectacular ran for 13 years–a total of 14,000 performances–at the Hyperion Theater. The special-effects-laden production ran about half the length of the Aladdin film. The Frozen film ran 109 minutes.
Admission to the 1,873-seat Broadway-style Hyperion is included in the admission price at the Disney California Adventure Park.
“While our production of Frozen will stay true to the heart and soul of the film, we have adapted it for the stage so it’s truly a musical theatre production that befits our beautiful Hyperion Theater,” said Dana Harrel, creative entertainment executive with Walt Disney Imagineering. “The goal of this creative team is to take all audiences – including those that know the film, and those new to these characters – on this exciting and touching adventure with Anna and Elsa.”
The production will directed by Liesl Tommy, whose Eclipsed opens on Broadway March 6. The choreographer is Christopher Windom. Also on the creative team: Robert Brill (scenery), Clint Ramos (costumes), Charles Lapointe (wigs) David Weiner (lighting), Aaron Rhyne (projections) and Broken Chord (audio).
The production is entirely separate from the previously announced Broadway-bound musical of Frozen, scheduled to try out in Denver in summer 2017 and open in New York in spring 2018 at a theatre to be announced.