‘Frozen’ warms hearts at Fox Cities Performing Arts Center in Appleton

APPLETON — With an enchanting special effects show, miraculous costume changes and captivating music, “Frozen” brings the magic to life. The musical’s two-week run at Fox Cities Performing Arts Center began Tuesday and will run through May 29.

Based on the 2013 Disney animated film, “Frozen” tells the story of two sister princesses, Elsa and Anna. Elsa, the older of the two, possesses the power to control ice and snow. After causing a childhood accident that injures Anna, Elsa vows to isolate herself from the world to keep her powers hidden and in check. On the day of her coronation to be queen, Elsa accidentally traps the entire kingdom in eternal winter, and Anna embarks on a journey to find her sister and break the spell.

The audience for Wednesday night’s show was a mix of spectators of all ages, including a few children wearing Elsa dresses. Judging by the gasps and cheers throughout the show, the audience was completely absorbed in the story. It would be hard not to be; in true Disney fashion, “Frozen” pulls out all the stops to bring the magic to life. The special effects, lighting and scenography are breathtaking. Some moments in the series — like Elsa’s freezing powers and her gloves and cape miraculously flying off stage during the Act 1 finale “Let It Go” — almost defy logical explanation.

Fans of the film going to the musical won’t be disappointed. “Frozen” the musical has all of the same iconic songs and lines from the show, with new music added that gives a deeper dive into the characters. The musical also feels more adult than the animated film, with heavier songs and a few jokes aimed at older audiences.

Jeremy Morse (Weselton), Hans (Austin Colby) and Caroline Bowman (Elsa) perform in the North American Tour of "Frozen."

Leading the cast of Wednesday’s show were Caroline Bowman as Elsa and Berklea Going as Anna. A new actress playing Anna, Lauren Nicole Chapman, took the stage for the first time with the North American tour on Thursday. Going, an understudy for the role, perfectly encapsulates the bubbly, stubborn and fierce charm that Anna portrays in the animated film. Bowman’s Elsa was just as powerful, with a commanding stage presence and a belt that sends shivers down your spine. The couple’s Act 2 duet “I Can’t Lose You”, a special song added in 2019 for the touring production Frozen – delivered a powerful moment between the two sisters that illustrated their deep love for each other .

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