Disney Cruise Line Launches a Stage Production of "Frozen"by Sherri Eisenberg | November 17, 2016
The show begins with marionette versions of the characters, including child versions of Elsa and Anna. But quickly — as the girls grow up — the show does away with the puppets except for Sven (Kristoff's moose) and Olaf (a snowman Elsa created as a child), who appears as a marionette of the snowman from the film controlled by a cartoonish puppeteer with a blue sweep of hair and red glasses. If this practice seems familiar, it may be because the puppets were created by Michael Curry, who designed the puppets for none other than the Tony award-winning Broadway production of "The Lion King," which similarly uses human embodiments of the characters as puppeteers rather than a person in, say, a lion outfit or a black uniform that fades into the background.
As you watch scenes from the movie, as well as your favorite musical numbers, evolve on stage, it's hard not to be impressed with the way creativity, artistry, and technology have been used at the highest levels to create a production that's every bit as "magical" as the cartoon itself. The singing is spectacular and the voice of the actress who plays Anna outshines even Kristen Bell in the original role.
The audience seems to know all the words as the cast belts out familiar favorites, including "Love is An Open Door,""Reindeer Are Better than People," and the girl-power anthem "Let It Go," hits made famous by Broadway legends Idina Menzel and Jonathan Groff in the animated film. While nobody can compare to the star wattage of those two talents, the cast does a truly impressive job of rising to the occasion and making you forget you're on a ship rather than on, say, 42nd Street in Manhattan. This is a rare example of entertainment at sea matching, and in some cases surpassing, what you would find on the Great White Way.
Sherri Eisenberg is a New York City-based writer and editor. She is the former editorial director of ShermansCruise.