If you are a theatre fan back in 2018, you would recall a great “WOW” moment when you see Elsa changing her dress in a split second on the stage during Let it Go performance on Good Morning America. I was one of them, and since then, I have been looking forward to having a chance to actually experience the show in person.
When I visited the UK back in 2019 and 2020, I was very excited to see that Frozen is coming to West End. The theatre was being renovated for the show! I was planning to come and see the musical after my graduation from the MBA program. However, Covid-19 hit, and my plan was delayed.
When I was planning my UK trip in May 2022, Frozen was one of the first few shows on my list. I booked the show as soon as I land without doing any research on the cast and the review.
The cast – a refreshing replacement for Elsa
When I arrived, I was surprised by the fact that there were so many roles played by understudies in this show. Among the main roles, Elsa was played by Danielle Fiamanya instead of Samantha Barks, who I was quite excited to see performing live. However, I was also quite interested to see how a black Elsa would be perceived by the audience.
Danielle is great as Elsa vocally! The acting though is the part where I’m not sure if it was the script or the acting skill that made her character seems quite bland. The song Monster seems to fit her voice even more than Samantha in my opinion. This is something that is quite cool when you have cast with different vocal profile.
Olaf was great. I love how the actor, which sadly I can’t remember who played him that night, could still show his acting skill and create comedic moments when we are not supposed to be focusing on his facial expression.
Anna, both young and adult, still annoys that heck out of me. It is just a character that I don’t like in general. The degree of illogicality and childishness is so extreme that I just can’t take her seriously and just can’t grow to like her.
One annoying thing about this is that they use a black young Anna and a white young Elsa. Then, the race swap in the adult versions – I am good with mixing race and all, but this swap just makes no sense to me.
One other annoying thing is how some kids cried when a black Elsa Danielle walked into the stage. I hope this is not because of her being black and for some other reasons. Otherwise, I would really question how these children are taught at home, and I would also feel very bad for her!
Some songs worth mentioning
I Can’t Love You was a great addition to the show. I appreciate the writer for creating a contrast between Anna’s and Elsa’s intentions despite the same message.
Love is an Open Door is funny. I like how they added some adult content in the choreography, making it more suitable for adult audience as well. Perhaps the only moment I felt okay with Anna.
Hygge added no value to the story but it was super funny. I laughed to tears while watching the show.
Overall, I love the show and the decision to have a black Elsa. The additional songs were hit and miss. The stage was great – better than Lion King and other adaptation from animation that I have seen so far. Same problem with the plot and character design with animation. Not a must-watch for me and probably no further repeat.