Disney Theatrical Productions declined this morning to confirm a report that Tony winner Michael Grandage (Red, Frost/Nixon) has been handed the reins to its Broadway adaptation of the blockbuster animated flick Frozen. Also untouched was the info that Christopher Oram, Grandage’s frequent collaborator, is re-designing the show.
In August, DTP abruptly parted ways with director Alex Timbers (Rocky The Musical, Disney’s Peter And The Starcatcher) and designer Bob Crowley (An American In Paris, Disney’s Aida, Mary Poppins) after months of prep in anticipation of a Denver tryout next summer before a Broadway landing at the extensively renovated St. James Theatre. That schedule remains on the boards.
“Making the tough calls when creating a new Broadway musical is never easy, but this was especially painful,” DTP chief Thomas Schumacher said at the time. “Alex Timbers is one of the most exciting and innovative theatre directors I know, and we’ve proudly worked with him from my support of the early development of Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson through our work together on Peter And The Starcatcher. Though we have chosen to go in another direction with this role, we are committed to seeing Frozen’s tremendous theatrical potential brought to life onstage.”
Grandage and Oram most recently were repped on Broadway with the poorly received revival of Hughie starring Forest Whitaker. In London, they have worked together on celebrated productions of Guys And Dolls and Grand Hotel; a 2012 Broadway revival of Evita starred Ricky Martin. The New York Post reported the Frozen switch this morning. A spokesman for Grandage also declined to comment.
There had been some speculation that Frozen might be taken over by Liesl Tommy (Ruined), who staged the show for Disneyland’s 2,000-seat Hyperion Theatre, in a 45-minute version that opened in late May to admiring reviews. Timbers, meanwhile, hasn’t exactly gone begging for work. He has Oh, Hello with Nick Kroll and John Mulaney about to begin previews on Broadway, and recently signed on to stage Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge!