Madelyn Wilson | Lehi Free Press
The opening night of any production is filled to the brim with anticipation from performers and audience members alike, and Skyridge High School’s first showing of “Frozen” on Nov. 9 was no different.
The lobby and auditorium were packed with students, families and community members excited to watch students perform the stage adaptation of the beloved Disney story. Dozens of kids dressed in Elsa and Anna costumes were practically vibrating with excitement.
The more than 100 cast members, live musicians and technical crew did not disappoint.
“What makes this production stand out is not the service and support of remarkable individuals. It is not the beautiful music, the great production elements or even the fabulous performances.
“This production of Disney’s ‘Frozen ‘ is great because of the heart and camaraderie among these exceptionally talented young individuals,” said John Brown, Skyridge Theatre teacher and director of the show.
This show is the first non-touring production of “Disney’s Frozen: The Broadway Musical” to be performed in Utah.
Skyridge Theatre was selected as a winner of the nationwide competition “The United States of Frozen: Love Is an Open Door,” which granted one high school in every U.S. state the rights to produce the musical.
So, not only is this show fun, but it’s a special moment in history for Skyridge High School and the state, and the community gets to witness it.
The curtains opened to the familiar choral arrangement sung at the beginning of the movie and an image of the Northern Lights on a projector screen the size of the entire stage.
Two young girls, playing Young Anna and Young Elsa, then took to the stage. These girls performed their hearts out and created the foundation for a fantastic show.
The performers each pulled out all the stops to make this show special, taking familiar songs like “Let It Go,” performed by Ellie Sabin as Elsa, and “In Summer,” performed by Carson Long as Olaf, and making them their own.
Intertwined with these songs that so many know and love were a variety of songs original to the Broadway musical.
“Dangerous to Dream,” “What Do You Know About Love?” and “Hygge” each stood out as the students took the songs and made them something special, allowing them to feel familiar even though much of the audience had never heard them before.
From powerful solo pieces to silly ensemble numbers, this show’s song lineup had a little bit of everything.
The overall production quality of the show really was a sight to behold. The sets were beautiful – many of them massive – and there was no shortage of great costumes and props.
Costume quick changes, lights and smoke masquerading as ice and snow, glowing green eyes, and life-sized puppets dazzled the audience and seemed to be especially exciting for the youthful members of the audience.
Each performer was impressive in their own way, but Mia Schoebinger and Ellie Sabin, starring as sisters Anna and Elsa, especially stood out due to their strong talents in both acting and singing.
Sabin wowed the audience in each of her solo pieces, and Schoebinger’s lovely mezzo fit beautifully in every song she took part in.
Carson Long as Olaf, Oliver Hudson as Weselton and Jayden Point as Oaken also stood out for their whole-hearted dedication to their parts and ability to make the audience laugh. The show had all the jokes and songs families know and love with plenty of new ones to enjoy.
“I felt fulfilled and contented in watching the efforts of so many come together in such a beautiful performance,” said Brown. “I was awed by the reaction of the audience and their appreciation of what the students and volunteers had accomplished.
“Most notable was the overwhelming emotion I felt at watching those seniors with whom I had worked since they were ninth graders perform at such a high level,” he added.
As the mother of a two-year-old who is obsessed with snowmen, I thought I had seen enough “Frozen” to last a lifetime, but the teachers and students of Skyridge Theatre took this show and made it something unique.
Members of the community, especially those with children who love snowmen and princesses, should be sure not to miss this fun production from a talented set of students.
There will be seven more performances on Nov. 11, 13, 16-18 and 20 at 7 p.m., with a 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday, Nov. 18. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at skyridgetheatre.com.