Liesl Tommy directs Broadway-bound Frozen the Musical and there’s a Black Elsa! The production of Frozen Live at the Hyperion in Disneyland, California, began on May 27, 2016 and will be brought to Broadway in Spring 2018.
As told to AP Drama Writer, Mark Kennedy, Liesl Tommy (Eclipsed) says,
Disney is very strict about its character representation, but when you walk through the park and you see all of those different little children — no matter what their race is — wearing a little princess costume, you can see it doesn’t matter to them, and so I felt like it shouldn’t matter to us.
I’m in a local bookstore, in the café area next to the children’s section. A Black mother and her child (about five) are negotiating a reward if the child finishes reading her book. The child’s next graspable response is her jumping out the door, screaming, “Elsa, I want Elsa.”
I imagined how impactful a Black “Elsa” would be for the Broadway rendition of the Oscar-winning film, Frozen. It’s hard to believe that the hit movie was released three years ago (2013). The acclaimed song, “Let it Go,” still rings strong from the mouths of babes, and these same children are still choosing “Elsa” as a Halloween costume.
When young Black girls see a Broadway Disney princess looking just like them, it’ll spark a dream like never before. I can’t help but think of the successful 10,000 Girls Campaign.
From the looks of things, Liesl Tommy will be continuing the legacy of opening Broadway to new audiences, demographics, and sponsors, who would not ordinarily see or support a Broadway show. It’s genius. What’s the best way to do that besides directing the number one Disney princess as a Black woman?
Someone get a shirt design ready with the Broadway Black “Elsa” above a caption that reads, “That Melanin Though.”
We are ready for Broadway’s next ice storm, under the direction of Liesl Tommy.