Ask any little kid around, and it’s assured they know about one of Disney’s most friendly foursomes: Queen Elsa of Arendelle, Princess Anna, Kristoff the ice salesman, and Olaf, the magical snowman Elsa created with her magic powers. The 2013 hit movie, “Frozen,” was adapted into a Broadway musical, and “Frozen II” is now in theaters.
This weekend you can see “Frozen Jr.” at Cardinal Heights Upper Middle School, 220 Kroncke Drive, Friday, Dec. 13 at 7 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 14 at 2 p.m. or 7 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 15 at 2 p.m.
Elsa can turn things into ice. Having lost their parents long ago, the Arendelle palace has been locked for a long time. Now that Elsa is of age to become queen, she and Anna will learn how to be true friends and leaders of the kingdom.
CHUMS’ theater group puts on a musical each fall and a play each spring. By using the adapted “Jr” scripts, most plays clock in right around an hour, making it perfect viewing for little ones. At the same time, the actors bring a wealth of singing, dancing, and choreography experience to the table. Most of the students have been in Sun Prairie Civic Theater plays or performed in middle school.
At a recent rehearsal, the first in costumes, the chorus practices “Vuelie,” the opening song. Lisa Hennessey, the choreographer, gives direction while students run the lights and audio and a third student draws out stage blocking on an iPad. Becci Gerbitz, faculty director, adjusts the hem of Elsa’s dress.
Lainee Diers, eighth grader, plays Elsa in the production.
“This is my first leading role,” she said, noting she’s performed in “Cinderella” and “Aladdin” at Prairie View Middle School and her choir teacher there helped her with singing lessons.
Haley Rollins, eighth grader, plays Bulda, the mother troll that advises Kristoff during his long journey with Anna and Olaf. Her last performance was Jane in the Sun Prairie Civic Theater’s summer production of “Mary Poppins.”
“My character’s sassy – I’m not usually sassy at all – and this is the first ‘grown up’ role I’ve played. Usually, I’m cast as a kid,” Rollins said. She enjoys theater because “we’re kind of all a family here, we can relate to one another. The ninth graders helped me prepare my audition.”
John Banks-George, a ninth grader, plays the Duke of Wesselton, a monarch from a nearby kingdom in Arendelle for Queen Elsa’s coronation. Or, as they say in the movie, “WEASEL-town.”
“It’s funny to fit into the character, since he’s a short British guy, and I’m a tall American, but it does give me a chance to do a British accent,” Banks-George said.
Jackson Nesbitt is in eighth grade and plays Oaken, a storekeeper. His theater credits include the Patrick Marsh Middle School production of “Once on this Island” and “Peter Pan.”
“Oaken is a goofy character, and his accent is tricky.” Nesbitt watched clips from the movie to prepare and said he loves signing, dancing, and acting.
The students are ready to put on a great show and encourage the community to support local theater by enjoying “Frozen Jr.”
Tickets for “Frozen Jr.” can be purchased at the door before each performance, or online at https://app.arts-people.com/index.php?show=105762