Broadway Across Canada’s Magnificent Performance of Frozen Will Warm Your Heart

In 2013, when the animated movie Frozen came out, Disney was sitting on the proverbial gold mine. Voiced by Kristen Bell (Anna) and Idina Menzel (Elsa), the film grossed over $1.2 billion at the box office and won two Academy Awards, including Best Animated Feature and Best Song for Let It Go.

In addition, the film went on to have cult status. Friends with kids have gone through periods where the movie is on repeat at their homes, the soundtrack is very popular, and Frozen costumes are well represented at Halloween.

It only makes sense for Disney to capitalize on this excitement, and that includes three cinematic sequels (the third is slated for a 2025 release), television specials and stage musicals.

The show, with music and lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez and the book by Jennifer Lee, was nominated for three Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

The musical is in Ottawa through March 3rd at the National Arts Centre courtesy of Broadway Across Canada (BAC).

Many movies have been turned into musicals, Aladdin, Pretty Woman, and Mean Girls, to name a few, but one of the things that immediately sets Frozen apart from the others is children in attendance. Another difference is that Frozen will be in Ottawa twice as long as the other shows.

The number of youngsters in the audience reflects the level of popularity of this show, which opened yesterday with a special welcome to all the children seeing their first BAC production.

Now, if you haven’t been caught up in Frozen fever, it tells the story of Princess Anna and Princess Elsa. When the sisters were little, one night, Elsa almost killed her sister with her magical powers. Anna is saved, and her memories of this incident are erased.

Years later, Elsa is on the cusp of becoming Queen, and she isolates herself from Anna as she doesn’t want to harm her again.

Meanwhile, Anna meets Hans and the two impulsively decide to marry. They ask for Elsa’s blessing, who isn’t thrilled about the rapid engagement. The two sisters quarrel, and Elsa, who can’t always control her magic, inadvertently turns the kingdom to ice.

Branded a monster, Elsa flees the kingdom in shame. Anna teams up with Kristoff (an ice harvester she meets on her journey) and Olaf (A snowman she and Elsa created as children) to help track down Elsa to help return the kingdom of Arendelle to normal.

In previous shows at the National Arts Centre, there has been talk about sound quality and audio issues. Consider them mitigated — the sound is excellent, and any concerns about audio have been dealt with.

The set decoration is stunning. You will be impressed with the scene transitions and the effects used in the show, especially when an ice kingdom is created before your eyes.

It is also rare to see a show with so many great vocal performers. Caroline Bowman (Elsa) and Lauren Nicole Chapman (Anna) are both incredible singers, and their voices ignited Southam Hall.

It isn’t easy singing the iconic song Let it Go. People unfamiliar with the show will still recognize that song. Caroline Bowman’s rendition of the song was beautiful and would make Idina Menzel (the original singer) proud. The theatre was moved by her performance.

Jeremy Davis gave a humorous performance as Olaf but in addition to making the audience smile, he also displayed some great vocals.

Frozen was highly anticipated, and it didn’t disappoint. The two weeks of performances are justified.

If you are a fan of the movie . . . or have children who are, you will thoroughly enjoy this show as it is able to pay homage to the source material. If you aren’t familiar with Frozen you will still enjoy this production. How can you not? The songs are great and performed very well; visually, the show is magnificent, and the entire production is very well done.

Frozen will and should stand out as one of the BAC’s best productions.

Grade: A-

Limited tickets to Frozen are available for purchase online at

PHOTO: Deen Van Meer