Frozen – Review by Bonnie Goldberg

Hands are especially wonderful for hugs. They are also quite useful for gripping knives, forks and spoons for eating, holding a five card straight in poker, embracing hands to dance a tango, writing illuminating lines of poetry, and any number of necessary every day tasks But what might you do if your hands were a source of danger, so powerful you had to wear gloves to protect others from your potential potency. Is it a curse, a hex or a magical gift?

To discover the answer, venture to the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts in Hartford to fall under the spell of the captivating musical “Disney FROZEN” until Sunday, February 18,with music and lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez and book by Jennifer Lee, based on the original movies. Like a fairy tale come to life, travel to a land where two sisters, Elsa and Anna, play happily in the castle. Young Elsa is played by Erin Choi and Savannah Lumar and young Anna by Annie Piper Braverman and Emma Origenes. As the two girls innocently play, Elsa accidentally injures Anna with her powerful spell. Because of that mistake, Elsa hides herself from Anna for fear that she will cause her more harm in the future.

Their parents, Queen Iduna, Katie Mariko Murray, suffers from the same fate as Elsa, and King Agnarr, Kyle Lamar Mitchell, travel from their kingdom and are lost at sea leaving their now grown up daughter Elsa to take the crown as Queen. Elsa is now portrayed by Caroline Bowman and Anna by Lauren Nicole Chapman, both spectacular in their roles, both protective of each other for fear of causing more harm.

Enter Hans, Preston Perez, who quickly professes his love of Anna, Evan Duff’s Weselton, who also has interesting desires, a humble ice man Kristoff portrayed by Dominic Dorset who wants to protect the sisters, Sven the reindeer in a role shared by Collin Baja and Dan Plehal who adds humor to the tale and the friendly Olaf the snowman captured sweetly by Jeremy Davis. The special effects are glorious as ice castles appear in striking color. The great direction is due to Michael Grandage, the choreography by Rob Ashford and music supervision by Stephen Oremus.

For tickets (from $34 and up), call the Bushnell, 166 Capitol Avenue, Hartford at 860-987-5900 or online at Performances are Tuesday to Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Encourage children to sign their name on a snowflake to benefit charity.

Your heart will melt as FROZEN casts a magic spell that is sure to mesmerize you with its message of love, hope and beauty.