To the shock of exactly no-one, Disney has confirmed that they’ll be bringing Frozen to the stage. Things are clearly still early days — there’s no mention of timeline, etc. –but let’s be real, their $700+ millions grossing animated flick basically IS a musical already (albeit a short one). In fact, anyone I know who didn’t like the movie complained that it “had too many songs.” So the precedent is in the material.
But seriously, I’m calling it now: Broadway, meet your new Wicked.
I mean. I may have to eat these words later, but it’s damn near impossible to imagine how Disney could cock things up enough to kill Frozen. Because, again… look at Wicked. That shit was pretty damn poorly received when it opened back in 2003, and here we stand, 10 years later, staring down million+ grosses at The Gershwin every week.
Why? Some reasons are probably cynical. “Oh, people only see that show because everyone else at home in Topeka told them to see that show.” or “Tickets cost so much no one wants to take a risk anymore.” Blah blah blah.
Really, though, here’s the biggest reason. Wicked is about the relationship between two women. Love, friendship, heartbreak, empowerment, growing up, growing together, growing apart — at its core, Wicked is about women.
Guess what Frozen is about, too? And guess who makes up a whopping 68% of the audience here on Broadway? That’s right. Women.
So keep trying to bring your Spider-Mans to Broadway. Your Rockys and Hands on a Hardbodys. Keep writing musicals mostly about men, trying to appeal to audiences of men.
And yes, go ahead, argue with me that those musicals were/are not trying to reach men.
In the meantime, over here in 2014, where men no longer control the family purse strings, Wicked and Frozen will be scooping up your audiences hand over fist. Because they know where it’s at.