DALLAS — After a freeze out due to the pandemic, the national tour of "Frozen" is finally on stage in Dallas!
And if you're thinking "I've already seen this a dozen times" ... dozens more if you count the kids playing it in the backseat ... well, think again.
This is a different "Frozen."
While the basic storyline is intact (film writer/director Jennifer Lee adapted her screenplay to the stage), there are some differences that keep you on your toes.
Gone are the trolls.
Instead, there are the "Hidden Folk" who enter toward the top establishing a legacy of mythical powers through the Queen of Arendelle to Elsa. Olaf Is brought to life through puppetry, with a costumed puppeteer speaking and guiding him along. (For me, he could have been louder and played Olaf 'bigger.')
The reindeer, Sven, is gorgeous and lifelike, with an actor inside the costume. (What else would you expect from the producers of "The Lion King?")
As for the actual people, the cast is appropriately diverse. The king is black, so is "Kristoff." Both leads are terrific, although Lauren Nicole Chapman is so spirited and rambunctious as "Anna," that the reserved Elsa (Caroline Bowman) comes off more like her mom than her big sister.
Oscar-winning songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez boost the musical with extra songs. Elsa has another power ballad called "Monster" that's really effective in the second half. But, of course, it's "Let It Go," which ends the first half, that's the show-stoppper.
Disney reveals Elsa's glimmery costume in the same way they revealed "Cinderella's" ballgown in that touring musical. Between the song and the magic moment, the audience is gobsmacked!
I am happy to report that frozen fractals do exist! They jut out onto the stage. But a lot of the other effects are done through projection. (The backdrop went black for a few moments during the performance I attended.) Projection work is a trend among touring shows these days, and it takes away from the organic feel of theater. But, you know what? Kids see it as magic and that's who it's for, after all! To see the wide-eyed wonder in the eyes of little girls dressed in blue princess gowns, well, that's almost worth the price of a ticket. Besides, what better way to cool off on a hot summer night!
(Broadway Dallas presents "Frozen" at the Fair Park Music Hall in Dallas through Aug. 7 broadwaydallas.org for ticket information)