Note – I caught a bad cold (ironc?) and was unable to attend the musical myself, but our intrepid team went and reported out to me – Sue
“It is the best Disney musical so far,” pronounced my 11-year-old nibling, Elijah.
He’s not alone as every performance is almost sold out during the Pittsburgh run of this musical.
Elijah is a Disney child. His mother is a big fan and has immersed both of her kids in the wonderful world of Disney since they were born. They named their cats Walter and Lily after the OG Disneys. So he knows what he is talking about. And he’s not afraid to disagree with his mother.
Elijah is also no stranger to musicals or the performing arts. He’s a thoughtful consumer of Disney culture who learns best through immersive experiences. He is old enough to understand that the new songs in the musical are necessary to translate the story from film to stage and to understand that the constraints of a stage performance can still add layers to the story. 11 is a great age where he can appreciate the magic of these stories as well as the human effort that fuels the magic.
A stellar moment in his review was something unexpected – the casting of a Black girl to play a young Elsa. Elijah is Black and he mentioned that as something he appreciated about the show. Given the magical responses to the casting of a Black actor to plan Ariel in the forthcoming live version of The Little Mermaid, this decision by the Frozen team is a low key to show how many Disney stories – even Nordic – have universal themes that should reflect the lived experiences of all children. Elijah and I had discussed the casting of Ariel a few weeks ago and you can read that here. The Frozen cast includes other actors of color and some gender creative casting as well.
Elijah shared his views on the stage and scenery, the music, and the appeal of this production to children. Elijah has been a good sport about contributing his pov to reviews in the past so I felt comfortable asking him to fill my shoes because the cold really did bother me anyway.
I should also add that Elijah and his family were heading to Disney less than 48 hours after this show.
Frozen The Musical continues at The Benedum through Sunday October 16, 2022.
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