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Disney's Frozen: Alex Timbers out, Stephen Daldry in?

Tom Millward
Tom Millward

Disney Theatrical Productions recently confirmed they have parted ways with director Alex Timbers, who was originally announced to helm the upcoming stage adaptation of Disney's Academy Award-winning movie Frozen, the 53rd animated feature in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series. In an official statement, Disney Theatrical President and Producer Thomas Schumacher commented:

"Though we have chosen to go in another direction with this role, we are committed to seeing Frozen's tremendous theatrical potential brought to life onstage."
According to the New York Post, Tony winner Stephen Daldry is now in talks to take over and direct the Broadway-bound project. Mr Daldry picked up Tony Awards for directing 'Billy Elliot' in 2009 and 'An Inspector Calls' in 1994. He also received a nomination for 'Skylight' in 2015. His other Broadway directorial credits include 'The Audience' and 'Via Dolorosa.' He was also recently linked to the upcoming movie adaptation of 'Wicked.'

Choreographer Peter Darling is also no longer attached to Frozen, with Tony winner Christopher Gattelli now filling in, according to a recent Equity casting notice.

Frozen will launch its world premiere at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts in August 2017 and will then move on to New York in spring 2018. According to The New York Post, the musical has secured the St. James Theatre — the current home of Something Rotten!

Frozen features a book by the film's writer and co-director Jennifer Lee, along with music and lyrics by Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, who also penned the film's soundtrack.

Synopsis: "Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale The Snow Queen, the musical tells the story of fearless princess Anna who sets off on an epic journey alongside a rugged iceman, his loyal pet reindeer, and a naïve snowman to find her estranged sister Elsa, whose icy powers have inadvertently trapped the kingdom in eternal winter."

The creative team features scenic and costume design by seven-time Tony winner Bob Crowley, lighting design by five-time Tony winner Natasha Katz, sound design by four-time Tony nominee Peter Hylenski, and music supervision and vocal & incidental arrangements by two-time Tony winner Stephen Oremus.

Exact dates along with casting and venue confirmation will be released at a later date.

The 2013 animated film Frozen picked up two Academy Awards at the 2014 ceremony: Best Animated Feature Film and Best Original Song (for "Let It Go.").

The film's soundtrack also features popular songs such as "For the First Time in Forever," "Love Is an Open Door" and "Do You Want to Build a Snowman?" amongst others.

The film's cast includes Broadway alumni Tony winner Idina Menzel (Elsa), Tony nominee Josh Gad (Olaf), Tony nominee Jonathan Groff (Kristoff), and Tony nominee Santino Fontana (Hans).

Robert Lopez is a two-time Tony Award winning composer and lyricist, having won awards for 'The Book of Mormon,' which he co-wrote with Matt Stone and Trey Parker, and for 'Avenue Q,' whose score and lyrics he co-wrote with Jeff Marx.

- by Tom Millward

Stephen Daldry

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