Supporting the Arts in Western Massachusetts and Beyond

February 10, 2024

Review: The Bushnell, "Disney's Frozen"

The Bushnell, Hartford, CT
February 9 - 18, 2024
by Suzanne Wells

The Magic of Disney comes alive in the musical production of "Frozen" directed by Andrew Flatt, Thomas Schumacher, and Anne Quart. The story of two sisters who face their greatest fears and discover, that despite their differences, their love for each other will (surprise!) save everyone.

Set in a Nordic kingdom, the combination of scenery and an interactive light display magically transform a warm, inviting palace with a lilac filled garden to a sparkling, solitary, ice castle on top of a mountain.

Anna, played by Lauren Nicole Chapman, gives an energetic, occasionally salacious, performance. Everyone will fall in love with Anna’s ever hopeful, sometimes challenging, awkward youthfulness and her warm, loving heart. Chapman‘s talented acting, singing and dancing abilities make her a joy to see live onstage.

Elsa, played by Caroline Bowman, is a solitary, young woman fearful of her own abilities, but devoted to her family. Bowman does an excellent job of conveying the conflict between duty and desire, although at times, it is difficult to perceive her as a young woman coming of age.  However, all disbelief is suspended when she sings. Her voice enchantingly transports you into the storyline so that her inner struggles become your own.

Hans, played by Preston Perez, is an actor to keep an eye on. His transformation from loving prospective husband to calculating, manipulative usurper shocks the audience so much so they booed him during the end of the night accolades. It is said, if you can play the villain well, you can play anything. This reviewer looks forward to seeing Perez, perform anything in the future.   

Special mention and kudos go to Jeremy Davis as Olaf, and Dan Plehal as Sven. Admittedly it was a little distracting to see the puppet master, Davis appear with Olaf, but within seconds of his?/heir? entrance, the two merge into one lovable snowman.  Plehal‘s mimicry of a reindeer is so realistic that one questions if Sven is animatronic or human. In addition, comic relief is provided by Evan Duff as Lord Weselton, and Jack Brewer as Oaken is “Hygge”.

There is so much more to say and even more to personally enjoy in this production of "Frozen". It is a must-see experience for the whole family.