THE hit Disney film musical Frozen is set in a country that the inept magical powers of a queen have covered with snow and ice, so it’s not surprising that the story was soon adapted for a Disney on Ice production.
The live staging has been as popular as the film on its three-year world tour, which ends with a trek around Australia that includes the Newcastle Entertainment Centre from June 22 to 25.
The show is presented on a staging area that is shaped like a six-sided snowflake and uses 20 snow machines to create a blizzard, with towering video projection panels in the background which highlight, among other things, the mountains of the tale’s country, Arendelle. And the 39 performers get to wear more than 650 costume pieces.
Frozen certainly makes big demands on the performers, who were prize-winning skaters in their home countries.
The characters include Marshmallow, a 9m high snow monster who chases Snow Queen Elsa’s younger sister, Anna, and a mountain man, Kristoff, around the ice. And 32 of the skaters play a tribe of trolls, who each have different faces and hair designs and a variety of movements.
The production observes the Disney on Ice tradition of having mouse couple Mickey and Minnie hosting the show, and with colourful princesses from Disney films making an appearance. Characters from other films, including The Lion King, are also seen.
The cast includes American wife and husband Adrienne Petrillo and William Ott, who met seven years ago when he was playing ice hockey. She started playing hockey and he joined her in the skill of ice dancing. William proposed to Adrienne when the pair were on a skating rink. They are members of the ensemble and are frequently paired in the show.
“He lifts me above his head in some sequences,” Adrienne said.
She is seen at the story’s opening and close as The Little Mermaid’s Princess Ariel. Her other characters include a flower, a butterfly and a troll.
Adrienne notes that Frozen gives many young audience members their first view of falling snow and it’s a pleasure for the performers to see their excited reactions. Likewise, the youngsters often sing along with one of the show’s musical hits, Let It Go.
“We’re backstage when that happens, and it’s cute hearing the happiness in their voices,” she said.
Disney on Ice: Frozen, staged by American company Feld Entertainment, can be seen at Newcastle Entertainment Centre on Thursday, June 22, at 7pm, Friday, June 23, at 11am, and Saturday and Sunday, June 24 and 25, at 10am, 2pm and 6pm. Tickets: $35 to $88. Bookings: 4921 2121.