Disney’s Frozen is a Shimmery, Wintery Ice Palace of Wonder at the Kennedy Center

Blue stage with ice trees and main character in center in blue dress.
Caroline Bowman as Elsa (Photo/Deenvan Meer)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – What’s shimmery, glittery, and icy all over? Frozen!!! The Disney spectacular indulges everyone’s wintery fantasy with visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads – most especially the adorable tiny princesses that filled the audience in their long tutus and tiaras dressed up like Elsa and waving shiny wands. Did they know the story, the music and all the lyrics? You bet they did, though their parents and grandparents kindly kept them from singing out loud.

Group of women on stage in pretty dresses.
Lauren Nicole Chapman as Anna and Company of Frozen North American Tour (Photo/Matthew Murphy for Disney)

Kristen Anderson-Lopez and partner Robert Lopez who together crafted the music and lyrics from Jennifer Lee’s book, keeps the audience in thrall as what was originally the Disney movie by the same name, comes alive in front of eager eyes. From the stage they’re asked if this is their first Broadway show and quite a few gleefully raised their hands. What a scintillating introduction to musicals and, I mused, what a tale they’ll tell their children!

The story of the two sisters, Elsa (Caroline Bowman) and Anna (Lauren Nicole Chapman), brought up in a magnificent kingdom by their caring parents, the King Agnarr (Kyle Lamar Mitchell) and Queen Uduna (Katie Mariko Murray) of Arendelle, is beloved around the world not only for the beautiful story but also the lessons it teaches children – to be kind, to love, to be cautious, but also, when to believe. Along with the charming, life-size Sven the Reindeer (Collin Baja or Daniel Plehal) and Olaf (Jeremy Davis) the goofy, fearfully meltable snowman, Elsa learns to tame her secret magical powers and save her sister from a frozen fate.

Man on stage next to big buck deer
Dominic Dorset as Kristoff and Dan Plehal as Sven (Photo/Matthew Murphy for Disney)

But this is no average children’s play, nor a mere evening’s diversion. Backed in full by the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra in concert with the Frozen Touring Orchestrait is an epic show set in Scandinavia with all the gorgeous scenery reflecting the frigid fjords and alpine tundra. Video projections fill in what the massive sets cannot impart so that it is like being smack dab in Nordic splendor as opposed to sitting in your cozy velveteen seat.

Gowns and balls, maypoles and merriment define the sisters’ lives, until Elsa’s grand coronation when Anna is forced to live in isolation to protect her from Elsa’s dangerous powers.

Characters center stage embracing
Caroline Bowman as Elsa and Lauren Nicole Chapman as Anna (Photo/Matthew Murphy for Disney)

The diverse cast moves effortlessly between ice crystals and shimmery fractals. Comic relief comes from Olaf (Jeremy Davis) and Sven (Collin Baja or Daniel Plehal) and the very silly number, “Hygge” sung beside a wayside chalet by the whole cast who dash in and out of a sauna beating themselves with birch branches to a song about comfort, friendship and conviviality. It is irresistible!

Snow blizzards and the haunting mountain people create just enough suspense to keep you on the edge of your seat. And did I mention Anna and Elsa’s love life? A Prince, Hans of the Southern Isles (Preston Perez), and a kindly mountain climbing guide, Kristoff (Dominic Dorset), are involved – one a straight shooter and one, well, not at all what he seems.

Highly recommended. Embrace the wonder-filled world of Frozen!

With Annie Piper Braverman or Emma Origenes as Young Anna; Erin Choi or Savannah Lumar as Young Elsa; Evan Duff as Weselton; Tyler Jimenez as Pabbie; Renée Reid as Bulda; Jeremy Davis as Oaken; and Gretel Scarlett as Head Handmaiden.

Additional cast members in the ensemble – Kate BaileyKristen Smith DavisLeigh-Ann EstyMichael EverettJason GoldstonNatalie GoodinZach HessAdrianna Rose LyonsAlexander MendozaNick SilverioDaniel Switzer and Peli Naomi Woods.

Under the direction of Michael Grandage with Orchestrations by Dave Metzger; Sound Design by Peter Hylenski; Puppet Design by Michael Curry; Scenic and Costume Design by Christopher Oram; Lighting Design by Natasha Katz; Choreography by Rob Ashford.

Through January 21st at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street, NW, Washington, DC 20566. For tickets and information call the box office at 202 467-4600 or visit

Jordan Wright

Jordan Wright is a noted publisher and writer focused on food, spirits, travel, theatre and lifestyles.  Her writing can also be found on her personal website

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