Why We All Need the Warm Hug that is Frozen- The Musical

Frozen Musica Straz Center Tampa Florida LGBTQ
Disclaimer: I received tickets to Frozen as a fabulous opportunity through the Straz Center and Tampa Bay Bloggers for the purpose of this review. The opinions shared are my own.

I had chills!

Not because it was Frozen and I have a thing for puns. Not because the greatest fact I know to be true is that every building in Florida is overly-airconditioned.

It’s because I, quiet frankly, had somewhat low expectations for a Disney movie turned musical. I’ve seen a few and sometimes feel tired of watching a stage-show attempt to replicate an animated hit as identically as possible, particularly after my children have cajoled me into watching said animated hit approximately 8,273 times. I thought Frozen would be just that.

It wasn’t. It was a show that can only be described as hygge!

When the orchestra hit the first note and the chorus of voices chimed in with Vuelie, I had goosebumps running from my arms to my ankles. As the curtain rose and I saw the first set design, I knew that I was in for something different.

Boy, am I glad I gave this show a chance!

@askqueerabby I may have to go two more times just to see “Let it go” performed again. Serious chills! ❄️ #hosted #strazcenter #frozenonbroadway #womenauthors ♬ Let It Go - From "Frozen"/Soundtrack Version - Idina Menzel
Frozen Musical Straz Center Tampa Sven and Kristoff
Photo by Deen van Meer. Property of the Straz Center.

Frozen The Musical Version

There is so much good to say about this production. The singing and acting talents of the cast were incredible. The costumes and set design often left me wondering “How in the hecking heck did they do that?!” And being in an audience surrounded by so many pint-sized Elsas belting out the songs around me, only added to the sweetness of it all.

This show was heavy on comedy, with some of my favorite moments being:

  • The hilarious dance montage between Anna and Hans during “Love Is An Open Door”
  • How brilliantly the writers slipped in a Frozen 2 reference during Olaf’s “In Summer”
  • The acting talents and dance skills from the Duke of Weselton
  • Young Anna’s huge personality and butt jokes
  • Oaken’s incredible singing and dancing number “Hygge”

But what I loved most about this show was the storytelling—it was exceptional. They took a touching Disney story of two sisters' love for each other and somehow managed to turn up the Feel-o-Meter to a level 10.

From lyric modifications in well-known songs like “Do You Want to Build A Snowman,” to the addition of songs like “A Little Bit of You,” the Broadway team nailed the push and pull felt by Elsa as she sacrificed her closeness to her sister, Anna, in an attempt to keep her safe.

Perhaps it’s because it’s a feeling that resonates with so many of us—sacrificing what we want in life for what we feel is the “right” or “best” thing to do.

Elsa the LGBTQ Disney Queen
Photo by Deen van Meer. Property of the Straz Center.

Don’t Say It. Just Let It Go, Abby.

I promised I wouldn’t write this blog about how Elsa is the speculated lesbian Queen. I told myself not to point out the fact that she’s the only Disney royalty that has never expressed an interest in finding or marrying a prince.

I didn’t want to pull in the fact that in Frozen 2, Disney seemed to work in some dare-I-say romantic scenes with Honeymaren. And I definitely promised that I wouldn’t go into dissecting Elsa’s lyrics in both movies… I mean, hello! Just read the lyrics to “Let It Go” from the lens of someone coming out. And Frozen 2’s “Into the Unknown” was practically my theme song in the messy middle of my own coming out process.

But if my defiant tear-ducts didn’t start overflowing as the cast belted out the Finale:

I take this warmth within and send it up above
Goodbye to dark and fear
Let's fill this world with light and love
I'm here surrounded by a family at last

We're never going back
The past is in the past
Let it go, let it go
Then we'll rise like the break of dawn
Let it go, let it go
The fear and cold are gone
Here we stand in the light of day
Let our true love go
Let it go

Nope. After I left the Straz Center in Tampa that night, I realized that Elsa may not be Disney’s queer queen based on one fact, and one fact alone. When Anna and Hans ask for Elsa’s blessing to get married Elsa responds with, “You can’t marry a man you just met.”

This queen just doesn’t get Uhauling.

Melt a Frozen Heart with Straz Center musical and Olaf
Photo by Deen van Meer. Property of the Straz Center.

Time To Get Frozen Again

My twelve-year-old and I both melted for this show, so much in fact that after I post this blog I am going back online to purchase tickets to see it again with our whole family. (I’ve never done that for a show before.)

If life is feeling heavy right now with all that is happening in the world, I encourage you to thaw your frozen heart with this musical that is nothing short of pure magic! We could all use some warm hugs right now.

Frozen The Musical is at Morsani Hall in the Straz Center through April 3rd. You can find tickets here!

If you’re a teacher or homeschooling parent, guess what?! The Straz Center hooks up educators with up to half-off tickets to certain performances. Visit https://www.StrazCenter.org/Tickets-Events/Discounts/Educator-Discounts. You are limited to two tickets and need to provide school system ID or a recent pay stub at the Ticket Sales Office to purchase. Discounts are not provided online or over the phone. Call 813-229-7827 for more details on upcoming shows with educator discounts available.

 

Comment below and let me know your thoughts. Check out my TikTok channel (@AskQueerAbby) for my videos on #StrazCenter performances and more. And if you'd like more musings and stories to your inbox, signup for my semi-infrequent newsletter!

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