“Frozen” is unquestionably one of the most popular films among the pre-tween set.
For a decade, stressed out moms, dads and uncles have popped in a DVD in the car or pulled up Disney+ on an iPad at a restaurant to occupy their kids’ attention. It’s not surprising those kids know every line and lyric of the show by heart.
And, Disney wouldn’t pass up the golden opportunity to cash in further, making the show its latest Broadway hit a few years later. Pre- and post-pandemic, the audience is regularly filled with little girls — and some little boys — dressed up as their favorite characters and when the show’s signature song begins, they chime in, turning the performance into an unforgettable sing-a-long.
That phenomenon is also repeated daily across the country as touring production makes its way across the country. Caroline Bowman is the actress who gets the privilege of leading that impromptu chorus in “Let it Go,” starring as the ice princess Elsa, who discovers the meaning of love in the heartwarming show.
The company pulled into Fort Lauderdale this week for a two-week stint at the Broward Center.
“There are some days when it’s a full-on sing-a-long; however, I feel that as it pumps up and the audience gets mystified by the magic, they then stop singing and start listening,” Bowman said. “It’s a different version of the song, the little girls and the little boys dressed as the characters they love, and there are full-grown adults that come dressed, too. They love this story and are deeply attached to it. The impact of just that song means different things to different people, release, owning who you are, and being free and living fully. It’s a responsibility I don’t take lightly, it’s really cool.”
Bowman, a veteran of both Broadway and roadshows, has played the best iconic female roles — from Eva Peron in “Evita” to Elphaba in “Wicked.”
“I’ve got a sort of a pattern in my career, I guess. All of them are so fun,” she said of her stellar stage credits. “I get immersed in my roles and fall in love with them. I feel like it’s such a gift to be in the midst of playing these roles and being so in love with them.”
While most touring shows are scaled-back copies of the big Broadway original, Bowman and her colleagues have a special claim to fame, originating a new song, “I Can’t Lose You.” The song was later added to other resident and touring productions, even in New York.
“Disney gave us a lot of creative licenses with our characters,” Bowman explained. “We sat down and did table work and brought our ideas to the table about who we thought these characters were. They really cared and wanted us to bring our personal journeys to these characters. It was an honor and now [the song] has been put into place in productions all around the world. It was really neat that they respected and trusted us.”
See Disney’s “Frozen” through March 20 at the Broward Center in Fort Lauderdale. Tickets start at $30.50 at BrowardCenter.org.