Let’s start with the most important thing. Yes, Jemma Rix sings Elsa’s mega-hit song ‘Let It Go’ as the barnstorming closer to act one of this musical staged version of Disney’s Frozen. And yes, she absolutely goddamn nails it.
The story, as any seven-year-old could tell you, is this: Princess Elsa was born with the ability to create snow and ice from her fingertips, but after accidentally wounding her sister and best friend, Anna, she is convinced to hide her powers beneath thick gloves and a frosty veneer of detachment. That strategy is bad for sororal bonding but good for the safety of the kingdom, until the demands of a glove-free and highly emotive coronation day release a literal and metaphorical storm. Details get somewhat hazy after that, with various characters going up and down the mountain that overlooks the sisters’ home of Arendelle, but there’s a talking snowman, an affable reindeer and various degrees of cold and winter clothing involved.
The animated version of the story is focused on Elsa, whose platinum fishtail braid adorns lunchboxes the world over. But the stage version is much more centred on Anna, a kindhearted goofball played with true joy and charm by Courtney Monsma. Her singing is more than up to the task of Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez’s music, with a voice that’s Broadway-ready without going the full Ethel Merman. Her dancing is sharp and graceful, but it’s her physical comedy timing and willingness to commit to slapstick that make her