‘Frozen’ set for run at Proctors start­ing Nov. 10

The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY) - - ENTERTAINM­ENT - By Bob Goepfert

SCH­ENEC­TADY, N.Y. >> There is no greater joy than when your child goes out into the world and achieves suc­cess be­yond your wildest ex­pec­ta­tions.

That’s what is go­ing on in the lives of Robert Lopez and Kristen An­der­son-Lopez. They are the mar­ried cou­ple who cre­ated the mu­sic and lyrics for “Frozen.”

The na­tional the­atri­cal tour of “Frozen” opens at Proctors on Sun­day, Nov. 10 and plays through Nov. 24 at the Sch­enec­tady venue. On Nov. 22, “Frozen 2,” the se­quel to the 2013 mega-hit film opens in movie houses across the coun­try. The Lopez’ also wrote the mu­sic for that film.

Yes, the off-spring of Mr. and Mrs. Lopez have done very well for them­selves.

Make no mis­take about it, the cou­ple re­gard Anna and Elsa, the cen­tral fig­ures in “Frozen” as much their chil­dren as the two hu­man ba­bies they gave life to. “Anna and Elsa sprang from us. We birthed them,” says Kristen in a joint tele­phone in­ter­view that in­cluded her hus­band, Robert, who prefers to be called Bobby.

She adds that the fic­tional char­ac­ters also have the cre­ator’s d.n.a. and per­son­al­i­ties. “Bobby is Elsa, and I’m Anna,” she says, with­out go­ing into spe­cific de­tail.

Bobby in­sists that love is at the heart of “Frozen.” “Once we re­al­ized that the story was about our re­la­tion­ship, the mu­sic flowed out of us. The turn­ing point was be­ing able to write about the many dif­fer­ent ways love is ex­pressed and how it can be seen from dif­fer­ent eyes.”

The cou­ple were mar­ried in 2011. When asked how long they have been writ­ing to­gether, Kristen replied, “So long that we no longer know ex­actly how long it’s been.”

Bobby es­ti­mates 1518 years. “It’s at the point where we’re no longer sure who wrote what, when,” he says. Kristen laughs as she says, “We used to keep score, but now it’s all about trust.”

For the orig­i­nal film the cou­ple wrote 25 songs. Only 8 made it into the film for a to­tal of about 23 min­utes. The Broad­way show is nearly 2 ½ hours long and is al­most to­tally sung. It would seem log­i­cal that the dis­carded songs for the film might have found their way to the stage.

“No,” says Bobby. “Any song that wasn’t used in the film was left on the (cut­ting room) floor. Each was con­nected to a spe­cific scene. As the film took shape, those scenes were lost and the songs with them. The songs added for Broad­way are all new.”

He does cite one ex­cep­tion. “There is a flashback when the two sis­ters sing a song at­tached to a spe­cial hand-clap­ping mo­ment that bonded them. We loved that scene and thought some­thing like that was needed in the stage pro­duc­tion, so we went to our trunk and brought it back out.”

The Lopez name is also as­so­ci­ated with the ma­jor Broad­way hits “The Book of Mor­mon” and “Av­enue Q.”

How­ever, each of them started their ca­reers writ­ing for the chil­dren’s theater com­pany TheatreWor­ks, USA. Also in­cluded in their bios are youth-ori­ented ti­tles like “Find­ing Nemo- the Mu­si­cal,” “Win­nie the Pooh,” “Gi­gan­tic” (a retelling of “Jack and the Beanstalk’) and “Coco” a story about the mys­tic trav­els of a 12-year old Mex­i­can boy.

Kristen sounded glee­ful when she ad­mit­ted the pair’s affin­ity for child­like ex­pe­ri­ences. “I’ve al­ways felt like a big 10 year old. I think of my­self as ap­proach­ing life from a child­like space. I am the Uni­ver­sal Baby. “

She con­tin­ues say­ing, “When I first met Bobby, I knew he was a kin­dred spirit. He lives life with a sub­ver­sive joy. He’s like a play­ful kid who is al­ways try­ing to change the rules.”

Bobby agrees. “I’m al­ways try­ing to chal­lenge my in­ner child. I strive to find sim­ple clar­ity in every­thing I do with­out dumb­ing it down. It sounds sim­ple, but it’s a lot of work to be hon­est and com­plex with­out be­ing con­fus­ing. The goal is to boil every­thing down to its essence, with­out seem­ing false.”

He adds that hu­mor is the key to break­ing the code. “We are able to find a light touch in the dark­est sit­u­a­tions,” he says. Kristen in­ter­rupts and adds, “We’re hi­lar­i­ous at fu­ner­als.”

They’re also pretty good at mu­si­cal theater too.

“Frozen” at Proctors The­atre, Sch­enec­tady. Novem­ber 10 -24. For tick­ets and sched­ule in­for­ma­tion call (518) 346-6204 or go the proctors.org

MATTHEW MUR­PHY PHOTO

Caro­line Bow­man as Elsa and Caro­line In­ner­bich­ler as Anna in “Frozen.”

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