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The reimagined Theatre Royal Drury Lane was set to open in autumn 2020 with a theatrical adaptation of the immensely successful Disney film.

The show’s preparations were well on, and Stephanie McKeon and Samantha Barks had already been cast as Anna and Elsa, respectively. Both women had seen the show “Frozen” in the United States, where it had a spectacular Broadway run, with ticket sales fueled by a legion of devoted (and fully-costumed) film fans. The question is can this Frozen musical recreate the film’s magic?

McKeon laughs, “The major thing I remember is sitting in the audience with 500 Annas and 500 Elsas.” “They were all dressed up as the characters, which was a lot of fun. I was sitting next to a row of children, and I kept an eye on them throughout the presentation since their mouths were gaping. They were engrossed in what was going on.”

After its release in 2013, Frozen grossed more than $1.2 billion (£870 million) in theaters. It was always going to do relatively well as a major Disney release with a hefty marketing budget, but it surpassed even the most ambitious projections to become the highest-grossing animated film of all time (a record that was broken by Frozen II a few years later).

As sales of associated products, costumes, and Broadway tickets skyrocketed, the film attracted a devoted fanbase and burned a hole in the pockets of many parents. It was unavoidable that the concert be moved to London to fulfill the equally ravenous British hunger. The concert was eventually canceled, along with the rest of the theatre business, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“We were all so psyched to accomplish this together, and then it all went apart,” Barks adds. “However, the two of us remained in frequent contact. We could be there for each other if we had a ‘urgh’ moment because we had each other.” The only silver lining for Frozen amid a horrific 18 months for theatre was the extra time the actors had to memorize their lines and get to know their characters.

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