Late last week it was announced that Frozen the Broadway Musical would close after 851 performances at the St. James Theatre. This news came as a complete shock to fans who had originally been anticipating a September 6th reopening. Disney Theatrical Group shared the news of the sudden closure on the show’s social media pages.
The final performance was held back on March 11th and those who had tickets for the now cancelled performances do have the opportunity for refunds. In a letter to his staff, Thomas Schumacher, the President of Disney Theatrical Productions stated, “This difficult decision was made for several reasons but primarily because we believe that three Disney productions will be one too many titles to run successfully in Broadway’s new landscape.” Aladdin and The Lion King will reopen once performances can resume in early September. Both shows have continued to have high ticket sales since being released.
Frozen was considered to be the weakest out of Disney’s three Broadway shows. Its peak weekly earnings hovered around $2.6 million when it first opened, but had fallen to around $1 million by this past February. Even with this, it was still one of the top Broadway productions and had a total gross earning of $155 million all while being seen by 1.3 million people.
The show, which opened in 2018, was based off of Disney’s Academy Award winning animated film Frozen. Directed by Michael Grandage, it not only featured songs from the film, but also 12 new songs written by Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez just for the production.
A new cast had joined the production three weeks before the shut down and unfortunately had their runs cut short. Ciara Renée, who also originated the role of Esmeralda in the stage version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, replaced Caissie Levy in the role of Elsa. McKenzie Kurtz made her Broadway debut portraying Anna and had replaced Patti Murin. For the role of Hans, Ryan McCartan succeeded Joel Carroll.
Fans will still have the opportunity to see the show since there will be five productions of the musical performed worldwide. In addition to the already in motion North American Tour, performances in Australia, London, Germany, and Tokyo have been recently announced. Disney Theatrical Group hopes that with the popularity of the Frozen films and the implementation of a slightly revised version, the show will fare well outside of Broadway once performances can resume.