FROZEN: The Musical is at the Cadillac Palace Theatre. You Don’t Want to “Let It Go” Without Seeing It!

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 Palace Theatre here in Chicago. Walking into the theater lobby the little ones were dressed as 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 is breathtaking. The performances were fantastic, as well as the new songs that were 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.

Bonnie: Well, let’s talk about Kristoff because he’s like the guy that you’re rooting for. I mean, the main feature is this love between these two sisters and the dedication between these two sisters. It has a wonderful way of showing the growth and feelings in so many relationships.  Kristoff is like this guy whose close relationship is with a reindeer. Who is Kristoff?

Mason Reeves:  I like to think Kristoff’s slightly introverted. He’s been about his own thing. His best friend’s his reindeer and other than that, he sells his ice, and he goes, and he chops it. He brings it into town, he sells it and it’s just kind of been his thing. I think what’s so fun about this show is as soon as he meets Anna and sees how much she’s sacrificing to go and try to save her sister; it starts to crack him out of that shell a little bit and he realizes that you can also find joy by opening yourself up to experiences. It’s not so much about needing to stay closed and shut off all the time. His arc is kind of sad too because right when he starts discovering what loving somebody feels like, he realizes that… I mean, he thinks Anna is not in love with him. I just think it’s beautiful getting to do that every night because it’s fun.

Disney Theatrical Productions under the direction of Thomas Schumacher presents Frozen, the North American Tour, music and lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez and book by Jennifer Lee directed by Michael Grandage with Caroline Bowman (Elsa), Caroline Innerbichler (Anna), Mason Reeves (Kristoff), F. Michael Haynie (Olaf), Austin Colby (Hans), Jeremy Morse (Weselton)

Bonnie: Do you relate to Kristoff’s solitude in any way?

Mason Reeves: As an actor, I love being able to start in one place and end someplace else having learned a lot over the course of the night. I think for a lot of people, being able to learn something and follow somebody that they can relate to. People have felt at certain times, I mean maybe even with the pandemic, felt wanting to keep to themselves and they realize that one night that you go out and you might talk to a stranger or something, that sort of experience might open something up in your life that you didn’t realize. I think Kristoff’s kind of like the boy next door who is very content being just the boy next door and then discovers how much joy he could have in his life if he came out of his house a little bit more.

Disney Theatrical Productions under the direction of Thomas Schumacher presents Frozen, the North American Tour, music, and lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez and book by Jennifer Lee directed by Michael Grandage with Caroline Bowman (Elsa), Caroline Innerbichler (Anna), Mason Reeves (Kristoff), F. Michael Haynie (Olaf), Austin Colby (Hans), Jeremy Morse (Weselton)

Mason explained to me why adults will love this production as much as but maybe in a different way than younger audience goers.

Mason Reeves: 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, at the new year rang in my friends I was singing “Let It Go” to 2021. 

Mason is African American, and I had to ask what the reception has been to him playing Kristoff.

Mason Reeves: 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 has seen the show. Whenever I see them, I always try to wave to them and if I get the chance talk to audience members of color after the show.  I love that I just get to bring myself to that character and then any kids 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 principle 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 of 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 Palace Theatre until January 22nd.   Visit www.broadwayinchicago.com for more information

Disney’s FROZEN is recommended for ages 6+; however, 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!

www.bonnieseyetothesky.com

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