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Fans of all ages take in excitement of tightly veiled “Frozen” musical at sold-out world premiere in Denver

Eight-year-old Ava Cassidy was one of the first people in line outside the Buell Theatre Thursday night, ready for the doors to open to the world premiere of Disney’s “Frozen: The Musical.” Although it was 86 degrees outside, that didn’t stop her and sister Peyton, 6, from excitedly donning their icy Anna and Elsa costumes to watch one of their favorite movies come to life on stage for the first time ever.

Brother Jake, 7, went with a gray T-shirt, but mom Tami said he was just as excited even though he played coy.

The stage adaptation of the massively popular animated Disney film premiered to the public in Denver on Thursday night to a sold-out crowd. Every element of the show has been tightly under wraps until now — from the costumes and sets to the new songs — as the show is working out its kinks in a pre-Broadway engagement before taking on the Big Apple.

This was the Cassidy family’s last stop of a five-day vacation from Little Rock, Ark. Tami said they were singing along to the film’s soundtrack during their entire trip.

“I cannot remember the last time I was this excited,” Tami said as Peyton shyly clung to her leg in her powder blue Elsa gown. The family has been fans of the movie since the first time they saw it. As big fans of musicals in general — they’ve seen Disney’s “The Lion King” and “Aladdin” on Broadway — they couldn’t wait for “Frozen” to join the ranks.

What made it worth the 16-hour drive back to Little Rock? “It saved me a trip to New York in February,” she joked.

Banners donning the famous “Frozen” logo have lined the Denver streets for weeks to build excitement for the show, not that it needed it.

If the show follows in the footsteps of “The Lion King” and “Aladdin” when it hits Broadway’s St. James Theatre in February, the show could bring in billions for Disney. Considering “Frozen” is the highest-grossing animated film ever, Denver may be the start of a new chapter in theatrical history by debuting the show.

The multimillion-dollar stage adaptation features members of the original, Oscar-winning team from the film and Tony-winning Broadway veterans for the 46-show run through Oct. 1.

Ellison Stanton, 14, of Colorado Springs, was coming into the performance with an especially artistic eye. She was was attending the show with some friends she dances with competitively at the Barbara Ellis Studio of Dance. “I’m really excited to see the performances and the new songs and how they incorporate it into the dancing,” she said.

Stanton was joined by her friend Alexandra Shafai, 18, and her mom, Dianna Smith, when they bumped into former team member Sofia Barnett, 17.

“I love Broadway. I was going to fly out to New York, if that’s where it would have premiered. ‘Frozen’ is my absolute favorite movie ever,” Barnett said.

“I want (the stage show) to be just as good, if not better.”

Although the premiere was sold out, the Denver Center for the Performing Arts released 3,000 new tickets this month, in addition to the approximately 25,000 ($25-$115) remaining — although most are for weeknight performances. The pre-Broadway engagement of “Frozen” runs for seven weeks only through Oct. 1 at the Buell Theatre, 1350 Curtis St.

Contact denvercenter.org or 800-641-1222 for tickets.

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http://www.denverpost.com/2017/08/17/frozen-broadway-musical-denver-premiere/