The Broadway musical adaptation of Disney’s Frozen continues to delight audiences at the St. James Theatre, with the adventures of Anna and Elsa in the wintery world of Arendelle. With the musical’s original stars, Caissie Levy and Patti Murin departing on February 16th, it has been announced that Ciara Renée and McKenzie Kurtz will step into the roles of Elsa and Anna, respectively. The duo will join the production on February 18, 2020.
Ciara Renée has appeared on Broadway in the cast of Big Fish (as the Witch) and in the revival of Pippin (stepping into the role of The Leading Player). Her Off-Broadway credits include The Wrong Man and Tick, Tick,…Boom!. McKenzie Kurtz will make her Broadway debut in Frozen, but has starred in regional productions including Footloose at The Muny (under the direction of Christian Borle). Joining Renée and Kurtz will be Ryan McCartan as Prince Hans, succeeding Joe Carroll. The star of TV’s Liv & Maddie made his Broadway debut last year as Fiyero in Wicked. He appeared Off-Broadway in the original cast of the musical Heathers. Chad Burris as Olaf and Noah J. Ricketts as Kristoff will continue in their roles.
Frozen is a stage adaptation of the hit 2013 film of the same name, and is loosely based on Hans Christian Andersen’s fairytale The Snow Queen. The composing team of Kristin Anderson Lopez and Robert Lopez won an Academy Award for the song “Let it Go,” one of the handful of songs they crafted for the film. For the Broadway stage production, the duo augmented their score with additional songs. Jennifer Lee, who wrote and directed the film, adapted her screenplay for the stage. Michael Grandage directed the show (which continues to run at Broadway’s St. James Theatre) and Rob Ashford provided the choreography. Frozen was nominated for a 2018 Tony Award for Best Musical.
Mark Robinson is the author of the two-volume encyclopedia The World of Musicals, The Disney Song Encyclopedia, and The Encyclopedia of Television Theme Songs. His latest book, Sitcommentary: The Television Comedies That Changed America, released on October 15. He maintains a theater and entertainment blog at markrobinsonwrites.com.