Suze Diaz ..It was crisp cold evening under the pre-Super Moon and my inner child was excited for Saturday’s evening event at Vista’s Moonlight Amphitheater. If you haven’t heard of the Disney movie “Frozen”, then you must have been living underground! Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale “The Snow Queen”, “Frozen” is Disney’s 53rd animated feature film. It has won numerous awards with most notably the Oscars (a first for Disney) for Best Animated Feature Film and for Best Original Song, “Let It Go”, at the 2014 Academy Awards. It is also listed as the highest-grossing animated film of all time (as of September 2016).
Photos by Suze Diaz
The film’s popularity has enormously exploded with many children (and adults) adoring the magical story of Anna, Elsa and their lively companions. The storyline events unfold as the fun-loving young princess (Anna) eventually sets off on a frosty journey and meets up with a sweet, gentle snowman (Olaf), a rugged, spirited iceman (Kristoff) and his spunky, humorous reindeer (Sven) to find her reserved, fearful older sister (Elsa) who has special powers that have left their home with the town of Arendelle in a consistent icy state of winter. From the beginning and throughout their story, many key songs mark the transition of each character’s development as they slowly grow together to find a solution.
As we walked through the venue gate, we were greeted with ushers who handed us our Frozen Fun Pack: a shiny white bag filled with props integral to the evening’s performance for audience participation (reminiscent of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”): clapper to simulate reindeer hoof beats; white napkin for a dual purpose: to dry tears during a poignant moment as well as to crumple into a “snowball” to throw at a exhilarated point in the movie; a snow blue ribbon wand to wave during “Let It Go”; a blue glow stick for a dual purpose: to simulate the northern lights (aurora borealis) in the sky and to bend into a crown during the rise for Queen Elsa’s coronation; a rice krispie treat for Marshmallow’s appearance and a tube of blowing bubbles to simulate snowflakes.
A snow play area was present up on the back lawn and filled with actual snow so that one could create snowballs and possibly build a snowman! After securing refreshments at one of the two concession stands strategically placed in the amphitheater, we made our way to our seats ready for the show to begin. Excitement steadily arose as the Moonlight Amphitheater Youth Choir started the fun by animatedly singing Christmas songs.
Two staff members dressed as “Anna” and “Kristoff” came on stage and asked movie trivia in hopes of finding costumed participants to join them in directing audience members to execute the hand and body cue movements during one of the songs. A few eagerly “Elsa”-dressed winners were selected and happily walked up on stage to participate.
As the lights went down, the screen lit up, the opening credits began with the first song and everyone was prepared, ready to sing! As the evening and singing progressed, “Kristoff” would go into the audience with a microphone to find devoted “Frozeneers” to sing along. There was much laughter and many happy faces shined as we helped each other keep track on which prop to use during specific parts of the movie. Just before the movie ended, streams of colorful confetti shot out over the audience from above as we remembered along with Elsa that the strong power of Love does help to conquer all.
It was a happy, magical evening and I was thrilled to be able to a part of the fun! The Moonlight Amphitheater had wonderful performances for the 2017 season and exciting shows are on schedule for the 2018 season. For more information of what is coming, please check out their website at http://www.moonlightstage.com/performances