I am sure that anyone who is a parent, aunt, or uncle, or related to any young children knows all the lyrics to Disney’s FROZEN. You have probably viewed the film more times than you can count and felt that you would not be able to handle listening to it one more time.
I was one of you, until I saw the live stage production recently at the Cadillac Theater here in Chicago.
Walking into the theater lobby the little ones were dressed like Elsa and Anna as expected, and parents were buying all the things to make the little ones happy. As I stepped into the actual theater, the set was breathtaking. The performances were fantastic, and the new songs added to the production.
I was excited to meet and speak with Mason Reeves who plays Kristoff in the production. He is so talented, warm, and the perfect Kristoff.
Mason explained to me why adults will love the production as much, but maybe in a different way, as younger audience goers.
“I think when you walk into the theater, you are just going to be completely immersed in ‘Frozen.’ Don’t worry about that. The Disney magic is on display, but what I love about that is that all those little introspective moments are full songs now in the musical.
“There are moments of Elsa figuring out whether she’s got imposter syndrome, trying to figure out whether she’s capable of being the queen and whether she’s able to be good at it; something that I think a lot of adults can relate to, getting a new job, getting a new position, and saying am I capable of doing this and having to believe in yourself.”
I totally agreed with him. Watching it live on stage as an adult even the song “Let It Go” resonated differently for me. In fact, as the New Year rang in, my friends I were singing, “Let It Go” to 2021.
Mason is African American, and I had to ask what the audience’s reception has been to him as Kristoff.
“Interestingly, I found for this show, being a person of color hasn’t actually changed too much of my experience other than when I see other people of color out in the audience that have seen the show. Whenever I see them, I always try to wave to them and if I get the chance, to talk to audience members of color after the show.
“I love that I just get to bring myself to that character and then any kid of color anywhere and is being told that they must be a specific way, can see somebody that’s just being themselves and know that it’s okay to just be whatever way that you are. Just because of the color of your skin, you don’t have to be any sort of type of person. I think that’s been beautiful.”
“I’m excited to see what they keep doing with more and more casting. In this show, I am the only principal (character) of color and they talked about having a diverse ensemble. The world of the show looks rather diverse. We had a Black Elsa on Broadway.
“There are all sorts of possibilities because I think any of these characters can be any race. It doesn’t have to change anything. I’m excited for kids of all races to get to see themselves represented in the characters that they have come to love from a movie that’s so beloved.
“It’s definitely rewarding for me to get to do the show and see little kids of color out there and hopefully, inspire somebody to be themselves somewhere.”
Mason and the cast truly do inspire. As I looked around children were smiling and cheering and adults, myself included, were teary eyed. We got the message of FROZEN in our own way, the love and devotion to family, find the confidence to be your best self, the experience of love, and to let go of the things that can’t be changed.
FROZEN: The Musical brought to you by Broadway in Chicago, will be at the Cadillac Theater until January 23.
Disney’s FROZEN is recommended for ages 6 plus; all children regardless of age must follow COVID-19 protocols including but not limited to masking, vaccination, and testing requirements
Until next time, keep your EYE to the sky!