Salisbury Press

Tuesday, November 13, 2018
CONTRIBUTED PHOTO“Disney On Ice Presents ‘Frozen,’” through Jan. 21, PPL Center, Allentown. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO“Disney On Ice Presents ‘Frozen,’” through Jan. 21, PPL Center, Allentown.

Review: ‘Disney Frozen’ will melt your heart at PPL Center

Thursday, January 18, 2018 by Paul Willistein pwillistein@tnonline.com in Focus

Disney, ice-skating and a great storyline combine for a spectacular “Disney On Ice Presents ‘Frozen,” through Jan. 21, PPL Center, Allentown.

The scene inside PPL Center opening night, Jan. 17, when the approximate 1 hour, 40-minute (including a 15-minute intermission) “Frozen” ice show was seen for this review, was symbolic of the scene outside with a snowfall and freezing temperatures. A “heat wave” of daytime temperatures to the 40s degrees fahrenheit is predicted for the Lehigh Valley through the Feld Entertainment show run.

What’s especially fun with a Disney ice-show is the participation of the audience. Youngsters seem to know every word of the songs and sing along, not only for the Academy Award-winning “Let It Go,” but other songs (“Do You Want To Build A Snowman?,” “For The First Time In Forever,” “Love Is An Open Door,” “Fixer Upper”) from 2013’s hit animated feature movie, “Frozen,” which provides the ice show’s storyine. It’s delightful to see children in Disneyesque gowns accompanying their parents or guardians to the arena show.

The familiar plot of “Frozen” has to do with Queen Elsa putting the Kingdom of Arendelle into a deep freeze. Her sister, Anna, joins forces with the snowman, Olaf; mountain man, Kristoff and his reindeer, Sven, to attempt to bring back summer.

Skaters costumed as the characters skate into view from behind a a huge pyramid-shaped backdrop, with triangular panels, on which scenes and images are projected, overhead. Lavish lighting and some pyrotechnic effects add to the excitement.

The story is bookended by the appearance of many Disney characters, including skaters costumed as Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Donald Duck and others, plus characters from Disney animated feature movies, including “Toy Story,” “Finding Dory,” “The Lion King,” and Disney princesses.

The colorful costumes are impressive, with military-style uniforms for male skaters and beautiful gown-like outfits for female skaters in one scene. The ballroom-style ice-dancing by eight couples in bristling choreography by Cindy Stuart and Benjamin Agosto is lovely.

Other noteworthy large choreographed scenes include those by skaters dressed up in cute outfits as butterflies and bugs (for the “Frozen” song, “In Summer”) and others dressed as green-outfitted trolls (for the song, “The Trolls”).

Principal skater Taylor Firth (Princess Anna) cuts a statuesque style around the rink. Becky Bereswill (Princess Elsa) creates a more feisty character. The pairs skating is superb, as are some of the stunts (a forward somersault). Skaters perform to recorded tracks.

Four platforms flanking the stage allow skaters to pose and wave to the crowd, as does a large bridge rolled out center ice. A sleigh is “pulled” by Sven. A vegetable and fruit push cart is also utilzed to good effect. The inflatable Snow Monster is more hilarious than scary. Rocks seem to roll under their own power.

The high-energy show will provide you, your family and friends with wonderful entertainment. If you haven’t seen a show like this, don’t miss “Disney On Ice Presents ‘Frozen.’” It’s heart-warming entertainment that will make you smile, laugh, and maybe even shed a few tears of empathy. Yes, there’s a bit of “zen” in “Frozen.”

Tickets: PPL Center box office; PPLCenter.com; 610-347-TIXX