“Frozen” burst into every kid’s collective consciousness only three years ago in 2013, but for most families, it’s actually hard to imagine life before the royal sisters Elsa and Anna – and their funny friend Olaf the snowman, who loves warm hugs – instantly became three of the most beloved Disney characters in history.
It’s also hard to understand why it took so long for “Frozen” to get the icy treatment in South Florida, but finally the Disney On Ice adaptation is heading for the BB&T Center in Sunrise for five days.
Here are seven reasons to get excited about South Florida entering the deep freeze:
1. “Frozen” is all about ice, duh!
“Frozen” and Disney On Ice are the most perfect match yet. It’s great to see Mickey and Minnie, Cinderella, Ariel, Jasmine, Goofy, Belle and all the rest of the usual suspects skating around the rink. But you can’t beat ice queen Elsa’s cursed ability to freeze everything she touches for dramatic effect. “Even in advance of the film, we knew full well that it was going to lend itself beautifully to the ice and be a big success,” said Nicole Feld, one of the executive vice presidents of Feld Entertainment, which produces Disney On Ice.
2. The perfect Elsa
Professional figure skater Becky Bereswill, the last American to win the ISU Junior Grand Prix Final (2008-09 in Seoul), takes on the iconic role. “Getting to play Elsa is a dream role for me as a performer,” she said. Becky even has a twin sister, Allison. “It definitely taught me the importance of sisterhood and the strength of that bond. You end up having a best friend for your whole life.” Says Feld: “You’ll see Elsa skate a world-class championship solo to ‘Let It Go,’ and it’s absolutely breathtaking. Becky is sensational, and is the living embodiment of Elsa.”
3. That rocking score
The songs are among the best in Disney history. Here’s yet another excuse to sing along to those diabolically infectious compositions – “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” “For the First Time in Forever,” “Love Is an Open Door,” “In Summer,” “Fixer Upper” and, of course, the Oscar- and Grammy-winning “Let It Go,” which will inspire a high-pitched cacophony from all the pre-teen girls in attendance. “I can’t get away from it,” says Feld. “Just last night we had a ‘Frozen’ dance party with our 4-year-old daughter, and she’s very impressed that I know every single word to every single song.”
4. Olaf, obviously
Olaf steals the show again. Just as he did in the film, the adorable little snowman who fantasizes about sunbathing on the beach (bad idea) draws the biggest laughs. “He is without a doubt the star of the second half of the show,” says Feld. “And it’s a little bit of a spoiler, but we actually made the decision to not have the audience see him until Act 2. Even when we were creating the show, when he makes an entrance, the reaction was so deafening that the dialogue continued, but people were still reacting to seeing Olaf. We had to open up the space between when he entered and the beginning of the dialogue, to get the chatter out of the air.”
5. It’s immersive
The audience will feel like it’s transported into the film. “You feel like you’re part of the story, like you’re in Arendelle,” says Bereswill. “You’re at the Coronation at the palace with all your favorite characters, and you’re making the journey with Elsa to the North Mountain.” Adds Feld: “What’s great is the moment you walk into the arena, the feel of the show is very different from other Disney On Ice spectacles. We were really inspired by the snowflake architecture and the Nordic scenes of the film, so that’s incorporated into our set design. It really feels like magic is being made before your very eyes.”
6. Special effects
The special effects will be dazzling. “You’ll see all of Elsa’s magical powers in the show,” says Bereswill. “One of my favorite parts to perform in the show is ‘Let It Go,’ when Elsa creates her Ice Palace – it’s such a dynamic scene, and I can’t wait for everyone to see how it manifests itself in the show.” Feld adds that there are a lot of “fun stage effects that you’ll see with Olaf and his playful personality.”
7. A chance to chill out
The forecast calls for snow in South Florida. “Miami is always hot, but you’ll see everything from light flurries to a heavy blizzard,” says Bereswill. “So we’re definitely excited to bring some snow to South Florida.”
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