University High School is hosting the hottest ticket in town next week.
That’s when the UHS theater troupe stages “Frozen,” the live musical version of the Disney animated movie of the same name — and it’s an exclusive.
Anna, Elsa, Olaf, Kristoff, Hans, Sven and other denizens from the above will appear on the UHS auditorium stage for performances March 24-31, then April 1-2.
Tickets are $12.
Visit www.uhstheater.com to order, and for showtimes and cast notes.
Richard Kyer, the University High faculty member who is directing the show, says it’s one of the more major productions taken on by the troupe in a while.
“Yeah, this is a big deal,” said Kyer, who teaches English and theater at the school on Bakers Ridge.
This will be the first time in the history of Broadway, and U.S. musical theater, that high school troupes will have the thespian opportunity to take on a show that is still touring nationally.
To earn that right, schools had to audition, as it were, through the Educational Theatre Association, Disney Theatrical Group and Musical Theatre International.
The above trio hosted the competition, titled “‘Frozen:’ Love is an Open Door.”
It’s all about the fostering of the arts, organizers said — reaching out to the community through creativity, along with getting underserved groups in school interested in trodding the boards or learning to rig the lighting for that dramatic monologue or show-stopping number.
Schools had to talk about all of the above in their applications.
Within the creative orbit of WVU, plus a vibrant community theater scene, University High was an easy sell, Kyer said.
Easy, he said, and more important than ever.
“We live in such divisive times these days,” he said.
That’s why the arts couldn’t be more critical — especially the kind put out by Disney.
After all, he said, who doesn’t love a Disney movie, with its slapstick coupled to reaching themes about identity and human potential that just might make you think — even as you’re whistling the main song days after.
Which is pretty evident in “Frozen,” with its freezes and thaws of family love, and nods to the heroic journey.
There’s that, plus the antics of Olaf, a nerdy snowman who eventually, finally, gets to play it cool after lots of comic pratfalls — and the help of a thermometer-motivated magic spell — along the way.
Students were hot for “Frozen,” Kyer said, after it was announced that UHS was joining the Disney-Broadway pantheon.
“We had a lot of kids who auditioned,” he said. “More than what we normally do.”
As a national and international touring production, “Frozen” premiered on Broadway in 2018 and packed houses for two years’ running until the pandemic forced the klieg lights and marquees everywhere to dim.
Now, it’s back on tour, including shows on London’s West End.