Disney’s brewing Broadway musical adaptation of “Frozen” has lost a choreographer, with the previously announced Peter Darling exiting the production because of a prior commitment to work on another musical, according to Disney Theatrical Productions.
Talks are said to be underway with Christopher Gattelli (“The King and I”) to join the “Frozen” team in Darling’s stead. Disney wouldn’t confirm, but the choice would make sense, since Gatelli is a Broadway regular and he picked up a Tony for his work on DTP’s “Newsies.” Should he come aboard, he’ll join director Alex Timbers on the show, which is penned by a team of creatives who worked on the movie: songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez and book writer Jennifer Lee.
The switchup for the hotly anticipated production, on track to premiere in summer 2017 at the Denver Center prior to a Broadway run planned for spring 2018, was necessitated “due to changes in ‘Frozen’s’ developmental schedule that conflict with Peter’s commitment to the musical ‘Groundhog Day,’ ” according to DTP.
“Groundhog Day,” which reunites Darling with “Matilda” director Matthew Warchus, is gearing up for a summer premiere in London ahead of a move to New York early next year. That timeline conflicts with work sessions for “Frozen” creatives that begin this summer, according to one source.
Changes in a creative team can be par for the course on the road to Broadway. Last season “Waitress” swapped out choreographer Chase Brock with new addition Lorin Latarro. That show is currently nominated for four Tony Awards and selling well at the box office.
Given the mammoth success of the film, “Frozen” stands poised to make a major play for all-ages audiences on Broadway. The show bows in summer 2017 at DTC, with exact details for the spring 2018 move to Broadway still to be ironed out.