Front Row Reviewers

Dec 22, 2023 | Reviews

The Utah Symphony Celebrates the Ten Year Anniversary of Disney’s Frozen with Frozen in Concert at Salt Lake City’s Abravanel Hall.

Front Row Reviewers

Front Row Reviewers

By Elise White, Front Row Reviewers

The Utah Symphony’s performance of Disney’s Frozen in Concert at Salt Lake City’s Abravanel Hall is worth melting for. The film and its music define the childhood of many. My daughter was six when the film was released, and the sound of “Let it Go!” and “In Summer” echoed through our house for many years. She is a teenager now and plays the violin in her school orchestra, so the opportunity to take my not-so-little girl to see the Utah Symphony and reminisce with the music from a favorite movie of her early years fills me with giddiness and excitement. I am so excited to experience the magic.

Upon entering the lobby, I know immediately that this will be no simple orchestra concert. This is a fully themed experience! Norwegian rosemaling wood carvings and clothing are on display as patrons mill about, both young and old, dressed up in their own Norwegian gear or as Elsa herself. Even the occasional Olaf can be spotted. Children learn how to write their names in Norse and try to lift a block of ice with a traditional ice tongs.

The show opens with a warm welcome from conductor Conner Gray Covington, who warns the audience that this will be no ordinary theater experience. As the movie begins, the percussion pierces through the sound of the ice cutters on screen. The percussion section plays a large role throughout the movie, enhancing sound effects of the film that I had not noticed during my many previous viewings of the movie. In fact, that is the case with most of the music. In the past, I have usually focused on the songs, the lyrics, and the story itself. This time, I notice the intricacies of the instrumental music that help move the story along. As the ice-cutting scene ends, the audience’s anticipation is palpable. When the show’s title appears on screen, cheers erupt from all in attendance. Oh yes! This is definitely no ordinary movie.

Throughout the show, individual instruments and sections stand out that I would not normally notice during an orchestra concert, such as the tambourine and the drum set in “Love Is an Open Door.” The piano is the star in “Do You Want to Build a Snowman,” and hearing the live guitar during “Reindeer(s) Are Better than People” makes it feel so intimate that I can almost smell the hay in the scene. The bouncy bass during “In Summer” is an audience favorite and feels like a warm hug—I observe several audience members bopping along to the beat. The low brass particularly stands out in moments throughout the show, including when Oaken stands to a chilling height and during the iconic number “Let It Go!” But for me, nothing compares to listening to a live tuba performance while seeing an animated one play at the coronation ball. It is as if I am dancing at the ball myself!

The moments throughout the performance when the orchestra stops playing are even more pronounced than expected. The deliberate, momentary silences create even more tension and emphasize those moments on the screen. The pauses bring bigger laughs as Anna snores and louder boos as Hans delivers his most hateful lines.

This show is more than a night of nostalgia. I have never been to a movie where the audience is more engaged in the performance and just plain happy to be here. This is my first experience at one of the Utah Symphony’s Films in Concert, but it certainly will not be the last. This is a family friendly performance and is suitable for all ages. Dressing up as your favorite character is optional, but really adds to the magic of this marvelous movie event.

A review by Front Row Reviewers
The Utah Symphony Presents Disney’s Frozen In Concert.
Abravanel Hall
123 W South Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84101, USA
Dec 21–23 7:00 PM
Tickets: $15–110
123 West South Temple
Salt Lake City, UT 84101
Phone: 801-533-NOTE (6683)
Facebook Event Page

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