Frozen and Harry Potter Head To Broadway

Frozen the Broadway Musical

FrozenAfter its astonishing hit release in 2013, the Academy-Award winning movie, Frozen, will be making its Broadway debut in the spring of 2018. Frozen fans have long been waiting for a movie sequel, but this is as close as they will get anytime soon as production for Frozen 2 has not yet started. Screenwriter and co-directed of the movie, Jennifer Lee, will be doing the adaptations of her blockbuster movie into the Broadway musical version, although she has never written for Broadway before. Frozen song writers, husband and wife duo, Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, have previously worked on Broadway and are currently writing 12 new songs for the musical on top of the eight already existing songs from the movie, that are sure to make an appearance next spring.

Disney announced Frozen’s arrival to Broadway on February 9, 2016, and since then the production team has been working hard to make the adaption successful. In August of 2016 Robert Lopez talked to Playbill about the struggles they have been facing while creating Frozen the Broadway Musical. “Many elements of the movie are not theatrical. Like close-ups and the action sequences. All of that needs to be done through musical storytelling. That’s that area where you really have to be creative.” Disney has already had some success in making the post-movie come alive in a 45 minute long production called Frozen Live, that is currently playing at the Hyperion Theatre at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts in California. It plays three times a day to packed audiences and premiered on May 27, 2016.

For now, there is no official Broadway opening date and the cast has yet to be announced. All that is known is that Frozen the Broadway Musical will be playing in the St. James Theatre located on 44th and 8th which has 1,600 seats. The musical will make its pre-Broadway debut at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts’ Buell Theatre; the same theatre where Disney choose to host The Little Mermaid and The Lion King’s pre-Broadway debuts. Frozen will be playing in Denver from August 17, 2017 to October 1, 2017. Group tickets for 10 or more will go on sale sometime in February 2017 and single tickets will start in spring 2017.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts I and II

Just when Potter fans were starting to get over the fact that Harry Potter would no longer be on the big screen, J.K. Rowling, along with her husband Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany wrote the prized Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts I and II, that will never be made into a movie. The play, which incidentally is not a musical, made its opening debut in London on July 30, 2016 at the Palace Theatre, but J.K. Rowling did not stop there. As a gift to her fans, she released the script of the play to the public the very next day. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts I and II  has had outstanding success in London and it is due to premiere on Broadway in the spring of 2018 at the Lyric Theatre. This will be the first real test for the British company Ambassador Theatre Group,  as it has been the host to previously less-than-popular plays and musicals like On the Town and Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games.

The industry was shocked when the Ambassador Theatre Group beat out all the competitors to host Potter. The Shuberts, the Nederlanders and Jujamcyn all failed in their bid, but that did not come at a cheap price for ATG. They had to buy out Paramour which is currently playing at the Lyric Theatre and will see its last performance in April of 2017, in order to make way for Potter. The theatre will receive a significant makeover in order to accommodate Harry Potter. Some of the changes the Lyric Theatre will undergo are the “removal” of 400 seats and the back wall of the playhouse will be moved closer to the stage, both are being done in order to make the setting more intimate. Producer Colin Callender stated “They’re essentially creating a new theatre within the old theatre.” ATG is also planning on moving the theatre’s entrance from the chaotic 42nd Street to that of a much more tranquil 43rd Street. Christine Jones, set designer for Harry Potter, will be heavily involved in the redecoration of the theatre, by the time all the renovations are finished, walking in to the theatre should be like walking into Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry – complete with all the Potter merchandise that ATG can hawk to patrons.

The Lyric Theatre has experienced potentially dangerous logistical problems with previous Broadway shows. Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark had problems when using the wires to make Spider-Man soar over the audience, that resulted in many actor injuries. Harry Potter may have similar logistical problems, given that the show features unique sports like Quidditch and flying around on broom sticks. So, Harry Potter may have a long preview in order to work out the kinks. The play, which will include some music, is set to be performed in two parts, much like Wolf Hall, and will run for a total of about six hours with some breaks in between. It is expected that most fans will see the shows separately, on different days. Rowling is determined to make tickets for the play accessible to everyone, but ticket brokers have already leveraged this perceived weakness to garner some considerable yield. If the prices seen in London, which range from $40 to $176 for both parts, are any indicator for how much the seats will be in NYC, then going to see the Harry Potter in NYC will be a bargain, although it’s not yet clear if Trump will tax this import.

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Originally from Santa Fe, New Mexico, Jennifer studied Law and moved to New York City at age 24, where she still practices law and writes for abovethelaw.com. Jennifer's profession may be in the land-of-legal, but her passion is for Broadway where she can write about subjects as diverse as Broadway union contracts to show reviews. With a focus on entertainment law, Ms Chen still keeps her hand in with the latest industry legal developments that can keep playwrights, directors and licensing organizations up at night.
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