By: Rosie Garcia, Rancocas Valley Regional High School, Mt. Holly
VOORHEES TOWNSHIP, N.J. — Eastern High School‘s production of “Frozen: The Broadway Musical” this past weekend was “chilling”!
“Frozen: The Broadway Musical” is based on the 2013 Disney movie of the same name. In 2018, it premiered on Broadway for the first time. With music and lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, and a book by Jennifer Lee, the musical was nominated for three Tony Awards and won a drama desk award for outstanding puppet design. The musical follows the story of two royal sisters. Elsa and Anna, who are separated by their parents to protect the Anna one from Elsa’s dangerous ice powers. As adults, Elsa storms out of the castle, leaving the kingdom a frozen wasteland, and Anna goes on a mission to bring Elsa home and save Arendale.
The success of Eastern’s production is rooted in the spectacular vocal talent of the entire cast. The gorgeous blend of harmonies in group numbers in conjunction with the powerful solos of the main characters, made for quite an enthralling production.
All eyes were on Anna and Elsa’s outstanding performances. Both Zoey Blackman as Anna and Ava Connelly as Elsa stunningly lead the vocals in the production. They landed every note with grace and energy. But they didn’t just sing excellently, their ability to stick to their character was admirable. Elsa was elegant and reserved, and it carried into her singing as well, building up to “Let it Go,” in which she exploded with vitality. Anna on the other hand, was delightfully quirky and expressive, but she also hit every emotional line within the show beautifully and grounded in reality. Combined, Anna, and Elsa effectively fronted a dynamic and stirring production.
Supporting the leads was a brilliant ensemble. Tight and animated, they hit every formation and dance move flawlessly from acting as a flowing wave in the ocean, to forming a blizzard in “Colder by the Minute,” to tribal dancing in “Fixer Upper.” Additionally, they successfully filled space in each ensemble scene by interacting with each other and establishing a realistic setting. Essentially leading the ensemble was the Duke of Weselton, a hilarious featured actor. His comedic timing never missed and his boisterous reactions were especially amusing.
The production wouldn’t be Frozen without some snow! All of Eastern’s technical components combined to create a wintery wonderland on stage and in the audience. Their lighting crew created elaborate snowflake patterns on the walls in the house, while on stage fog machines, snow machines, and their projector backdrop created special snow effects. But the most eye-catching component in the show was the life-size Sven puppet. Stage crew masterfully created a giant reindeer that could be controlled by a student from inside. With all of these aspects, the stage crew produced a magical recreation of the characters and snow wonderland from the movie.
Eastern’s “Frozen: The Broadway Musical” melts hearts like Olaf in summer!
Editor’s Note: Eastern Regional High School’s theater program won a contest to be the only school in New Jersey allowed to perform ‘Disney’s Frozen: The Broadway Musical.’
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