Disney Finds its 'Frozen' Princesses for Broadway
Caissie Levy has been cast as Elsa and Patti Murin as Anna in the upcoming stage musical based on the animated blockbuster, with choreographer Rob Ashford joining the creative team.
If you were still dreaming of getting your big stage break playing one of the royal siblings in Disney's upcoming Frozen musical, let it go.
Disney Theatrical Productions confirmed Monday that casting is in place for the key roles. Caissie Levy is set to play Elsa, whose uncontrollable icy powers trap the kingdom of Arendelle in eternal winter, while Patti Murin will star as Anna, who undertakes an epic journey to find her troubled sister and reverse the magic.
Levy has appeared on Broadway in Wicked, Hair, Ghost the Musical and, most recently, in the 2014 revival of Les Miserables, playing Fantine. Murin made her Broadway debut in Xanadu in 2007 and starred in the title role in the 2011 musical Lysistrata Jones.
Also joining the principal cast is Jelani Alladin, making his Broadway debut as Kristoff, with Greg Hildreth as Olaf, John Riddle as Hans and Robert Creighton as Duke of Weselton. Additional casting is to be announced.
While the developing Frozen musical underwent a change of directors last September, when Michael Grandage came on board to replace the previously attached Alex Timbers, the show remains on track to premiere in a tryout engagement at the Buell Theater in the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, running Aug. 17 through Oct. 1.
A Broadway bow is scheduled for spring 2018 at the St. James Theatre. The venue is undergoing major backstage renovations allowing it to accommodate the large-scale production's sets, which are being designed by Grandage's regular collaborator, Christopher Oram.
Joining the creative team is choreographer Rob Ashford, who won a Tony Award in 2002 for Thoroughly Modern Millie. Ashford is the third choreographer attached to the show, following Christopher Gattelli and Peter Darling. However, such changes are not uncommon in the development of a major theater project. Ashford and Grandage have collaborated frequently for more than a decade, including on the recent Broadway revival of Evita. Ashford also did the choreography for Disney's live-action Cinderella remake, directed by Kenneth Branagh.
The stage adaptation of Frozen features music and lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, expanded from their film score; and a book by Jennifer Lee, who wrote and co-directed the movie.
Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's The Snow Queen, the movie was released in 2013 and became the top-grossing animated feature of all time, with worldwide box office of close to $1.3 billion. The film spawned a smash hit in the Oscar-winning song, "Let It Go." It also won the 2014 Academy Award for best animated film.
The highly anticipated stage version will join two other Disney properties on Broadway — The Lion King, the New York grosses for which currently are at $1.35 billion after a phenomenal 20-year run; and relative newcomer Aladdin, which opened in 2014 and has grossed $242 million to date.