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August 12, 2023

Review: Frozen Jr at the Arts Theatre

If you are unfamiliar with the premise of Frozen, then perhaps you have been living under a rock for the last 10 years. Let me help you…

Frozen is a musical with music and lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez and book by Jennifer Lee, based on the 2013 film of the same name, which in turn was based on Hans Christian Andersen’s 1844 fairy-tale, The Snow Queen.

Frozen Jr is a 60-minute adaptation of the full-length musical, centering on the relationship between two sisters who are princesses, Elsa and Anna.

Elsa has magical powers to freeze objects and people, which she does not know how to control. After inheriting the throne, Elsa flees, inadvertently causing the kingdom to become frozen in an eternal winter, and nearly kills her sister. She must sacrifice and show true love to save the day.

After seeing the professional show last year, a number of times, [ahem 7], I know this is a tricky show to stage, but when the opening chorus begins and stunning projections are a set, you know you are in for a treat!

Pelican Productions might be an amateur youth company, but my goodness, was this polished and professional!

The incredible vision and direction of Georgia Broomhall expertly staged this well-loved show with Maddie Lochert and Tayla Prime choreographing the beautiful dance sequences throughout.

Musical direction by the extraordinary Ben Francis brought these young voices to life throughout the difficult score and choral moments.

The costumes and set were a sight to behold, designed by Jen Frith and Jason Dew.

Elsa’s transformation dress was seamless and exquisite, and deserving of the rousing applause!

Projections by the super talented Ray Cullen, really captured the essence and spirit of Arendelle and the amazed faces of all in the audience was proof of how good it all was.

Lighting design by Jen Frith and Campbell Lawrence was absolutely magical, especially during the snow blizzard.

The graphics, set changes and lighting transition from winter to summer was flawless and really felt like a warm hug!

This production has two casts, but alas I could only see one of them, the Summer cast.

The young Anna and Elsa’s, Lily Messenger and Mia Ricciardelli, were charming, innocent and bright, as were the middle Elsa and Anna, Tahlia Sabatino and Vegas Nikolitsis respectively. A gorgeous cameo by twin babies Edie and Hazel Frith drew a collective ‘aww’ from the crowd upon their entrance!

While at times the sound wasn’t as loud as I’d like it to be with the ensemble, with a few pops of the microphones, the support cast were wonderful!

Samuel Moschetta as Wesselton, Nikolas Karagianis as Oaken were hilarious and Chloe Molineux and Caitlin Bentley as Bulda and Pabbie were lovable and amiable.

Noah Byrne as Kristoff and CJ Parkinson as his reindeer sidekick Sven were a terrific duo and portrayed their characters beautifully through song. While Byrne’s energy was a little short to start, he certainly warmed into the character [see what I did there?]

Aidan Salmon had the task of singing, dancing and acting as Olaf, but he did it with ease and charm.

Hans, played by Ryan Tillman, presented as honest and noble to begin with, was scheming and calculating by the end. He had both applause and boos during bows from the audience– which is perfect when playing a villain!

The wonderful duo ‘Love is an Open Door’, with Anna, played brilliantly by Abigail Sharp, showed the chemistry and harmonies they both had.

Sharp was the perfect Anna – her comedic timing, delightful voice, great characterisation and nuances were on point. She has a bright future ahead of her.

Rounding out the incredible principal cast was the sensational Lluka Wadey as the Snow Queen herself, Elsa.

Regal but misunderstood, Wadey was commanding and steady and impressively executed the difficult tracks ‘Dangerous to Dream’ and the famed ‘Let it Go’ – she presented an emotional and complex character with a vocal maturity far beyond her years.

The interaction between Sharp’s Anna and Wadey’s Elsa was believable and magnetic – one to rival the professional show!

A dazzling finale, amid masses of colour and coordinated voices, bravo Pelican Productions!

Adelaide is very lucky to have you fostering the musical theatre skills of the stars of tomorrow!


Lia Loves.


Lia Loves
Lia Loves
Theatre. Dance. Culture. Events. Follow her adventures as Adelaide's premier theatre buff, arts contributor, educator and ambassador!

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