The Verdict: Critics Review "Frozen" Songwriters' World-Premiere Musical Up Here

The Verdict   The Verdict: Critics Review "Frozen" Songwriters' World-Premiere Musical Up Here Up Here, the new musical by the songwriters of Disney's blockbuster "Frozen," officially opened its world-premiere engagement Aug. 9 at La Jolla Playhouse in La Jolla, CA, following previews that began July 28.
Betsy Wolfe and Matt Bittner with the cast of <i>Up Here</i>
Betsy Wolfe and Matt Bittner with the cast of Up Here

Betsy Wolfe (Broadway’s Bullets over Broadway, The Mystery of Edwin Drood) and Matt Bittner (Public Theater’s Much Ado About Nothing) topline this musical, which takes place inside the head of the main character, a computer repairman (Bittner) with a vivid imagination.

Robert Lopez (The Book of Mormon, Avenue Q) and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, who co-wrote the Academy Award-winning song "Let It Go" from the movie "Frozen," collaborated on the book, music and lyrics of Up Here, which is directed by Tony Award nominee Alex Timbers (Peter and the Starcatcher, Rocky).

The critics have filed their reviews, and Playbill.com has collected them for our readers. Playbill.com will continue to update our list as the reviews come in.

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LA Times

San Diego Union Tribune

Stage and Cinema

Variety

The creative team includes Joshua Bergasse, choreographer; Aron Accurso, music director; Dave Metzger, orchestrator; David Korins, scenic designer; Ann Closs-Farley, costume designer; David J. Weiner, lighting designer; Peter Hylenski, sound designer; Dan Scully, projection designer; Michelle Zamora, puppet designer; Gabriel Greene, dramaturg; Carrie Gardner, casting; and Matthew DiCarlo, production stage manager.

Featured cast includes Andrew Call, Giovanni Cozic, Jeff Hiller, Gizel Jimenez, Zonya Love, Sarah Meahl, Eric Petersen, Devin Ratray, Devere Rogers, Charles South and Nick Verina. The ensemble consists of local actors Kikau Alvaro, Hanz Enyeart, Jacob Haren, April Jo Henry, Tamara Rodriguez and Graham Stevens, plus UC San Diego M.F.A. students N’Jameh Camara, Zakiyah Markland and Lorena Martinez.

The show is currently scheduled to run through Sept. 6 in the Mandell Weiss Theatre.

Here's how the production is described: "In Up Here, when introverted 30-something computer repairman Dan finds a potential spark with outgoing t-shirt designer Lindsay, his attempts at a relationship are thwarted by the Technicolor world in his head. This world-premiere musical goes where no musical has gone before, bringing to life the circus of judgmental, neurotic, ever-changing characters that rule an ordinary man's mind. Up Here is an ambitious, razor-sharp musical comedy about recognizing your place in the universe — and maybe even finding happiness."

La Jolla Playhouse is located at 2910 La Jolla Village Drive La Jolla, CA. Visit LaJollaPlayhouse.org for more information.

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