Female empowerment in the spotlight in ‘Frozen: The Broadway Musical’

The two-hour musical features 12 new songs from the same creators of the film.

March 22, 2018, 10:02 AM

“Frozen” has a new home on Broadway and female empowerment is standing center stage.

"Frozen: The Broadway Musical" is told in two acts and follows the strong female storyline of Princess Anna, who goes in search of her sister, Queen Elsa, when their kingdom falls under a spell of perpetual winter. Only now the message has been reinvigorated for a new audience in this onstage musical production.

In an interview with ABC News’ Juju Chang, the film’s award-winning songwriter husband and wife duo, Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, explained how they were able to elevate their hits for a new medium with a fresh perspective that evokes deeper feelings from the leading ladies.

“One of the things that makes it exceptional and made it exceptional in 2013 when we worked on the movie, was that there were actual females writing female characters in the room,” Anderson-Lopez said. “And it was such an amazing gift to get to work in a room and write a song for a woman with a female director or writer.”

PHOTO: Actors perform during "Frozen: The Broadway Musical."
Actors perform during "Frozen: The Broadway Musical."

While developing the new production Anderson-Lopez, said they both realized, “We need to bring Elsa forward and really catch up and see what’s in her head.”

So, in addition to creating more than twice the amount of music for the Broadway show, they honed in on musical numbers to bring their female leading lady forward.

“We wrote a song called ‘Dangerous to Dream,’” Anderson-Lopez said of the new number that takes people inside Elsa’s head during her coronation. “There are many things called ‘I want’ songs in most musicals, but you don't often get the, ‘I wish I could want something, but I'm not allowed to want something,’ song.”

Of the 12 new songs in this show, a new power ballad “Monster” was also created just for Elsa, played by Caissie Levy.

VIDEO: 'Frozen' musical is about 'empowered women'
VIDEO: 'Frozen' musical is about 'empowered women'

Tony Award-winning director Michael Grandage said a character within Elsa comes out to debate whether she's a monster.

"That's a perfect example of a song that has an extraordinary arc ... in the way you start one place and the debate that goes on leads you to another and you come with an audience triumphantly moving forward."

Anderson-Lopez said they knew they “had to go a lot deeper, get a lot more sophisticated, and add a lot more music,” to turn the movie into a two-hour musical.

But her husband added that there were “practical considerations too.”

“We did wanna go deeper -- we had more to say about these characters and we wanted people to fully grasp the story we always meant with ‘Frozen,” Lopez said. “You need to find musical solutions to … all those things that worked in the film that couldn't work as well on stage.”

Despite the onstage nuances and twists, this modern princess story still delivers one powerful and timely message, the crew said.

“The ending has always been about, no -- it's not a man's love, it's the love between these sisters, it's family love,” Lopez said. “And that’s true love.”

His wife echoed the same sentiment.

"This is about empowered women. This is about a princess in pants. This is about finding your power," Anderson-Lopez said. "This is about nuanced, three-dimensional women, dealing with leadership, love, and their own relationships."

PHOTO: Actors perform during "Frozen: The Broadway Musical."
Actors perform during "Frozen: The Broadway Musical."

You can see "Frozen: The Broadway Musical" now at the St. James Theater in New York.

ABC News and "Frozen: The Broadway Musical" are both owned by parent company Disney.