Children’s stories don’t get much more well known, especially to excited 5 year olds, than the story of Ana and Elsa of Arendelle. The well-known songs and characters set a high bar for Fantasia Showstoppers to meet, and meet it they did. My date for this production was my 5-year-old daughter, who was "100 excited to see Frozen!" and at the end of the show was literally jumping out of her seat with joy. From the opening number, the young cast engaged the audience with strong voices, great comedic timing, and exceptional story-telling. Director Tyson Moon, Musical Director David Catterall and Choreographer Klancy Godsell should be really proud of how they have come together and guided these young people to put perform their hearts out!
Myah Allen and Annabel Forbes shone as young Anna and Elsa. They were a joy to watch and an inspiration to young actors, as my daughter, not really quietly enough for a theatre production, announced "Maybe I could be Elsa one day!". As the two characters grew up, we met Chelsea Weldon as Anna, who was absolutely impressive and presented a powerhouse of a voice, and Erica Loizou as Elsa, who also sang the roof off the theatre. Both actors accurately captured the characters we know and love in both song and personality. Lewis Miller as Hans managed to endear an audience full of people who knew he was the bad guy, and this was a testament to his excellent acting skills. Reuben Kemp-Burrows as Kristoff was a joy to watch and matched the energy that Chelsea as Anna brought to the stage. Elissa Lindsay as Olaf was pure delight, and her entrance to the stage was met with joyful giggles from the audience. Elissa managed to effectively divert attention to her Olaf puppet and make him the character he needed to be. All of these main actors should be eagerly watched for what they do next, as all five have immense talent. While I have only mentioned the performers in the leading roles, each and every young person who stepped foot on their stage did an amazing job and should be congratulated.
The set and lighting production were flawless. The sets in particular were professionally staged and seamlessly moved throughout the production to create a simple and effective backdrop for the action. As opening nights go, this one had almost no hiccups, barring a few sound and costume glitches. Some of the early scenes did take place on the floor of the stage, and as the audience was seated on a flat surface, this posed some viewing issues, but this only impacted a small portion of the production.
I have used the word joy multiple times, but nothing describes this production better than that feeling. Being able to see young actors who are already so great at such a young age is really very special. Fantasia Showstoppers should be incredibly proud to have produced something that really is bringing so much joy,
I am not giving a rating for this show, rather I will let you know what my daughter said when I asked her what she thought on the car ride home, "I loved Hans and Elsa and Anna and Kristoff and Olaf; it was the best. Can we come back again tomorrow?"