Name the actress who’s played Maureen in Rent, Elphaba in Wicked, and Princess Elsa in Frozen?
Not Idina Menzel. The other one.
The one who, in just four months will be in a glaringly bright national spotlight as Broadway’s first Elsa in the highly anticipated Disney stage production of Frozen (A role sung by Menzel in the animated film version).
Meet Caissie Levy. In fact, meet her in person, this weekend at Feinstein’s, where she’ll be performing three shows.
The native Canadian’s debut San Francisco engagement offers Bay Area theater fans a chance to hear her in an intimate setting—a situation unlikely to be repeated any time soon if Frozen proves to be the Lion King-sized hit its expected to be (The film Frozen is the top grossing animated movie of all time, garnering over a quarter billion more than Simba and company at the box office).
In addition to significant overlap with Menzel on the music theater Venn diagram,
Levy starred in both the West End and Broadway productions of Ghost, and has also trod the Broadway boards in Les Misérables and the acclaimed Diane Paulus revival of Hair.
In addition to the inevitable interpretation of “Let It Go”, Levy’s repertoire at Feinstein’s is likely to include several numbers featured on her splendidly spare 2013 album With You (available on iTunes) on which Broadway tunes are rendered as delicate acoustic chamber folk.
The stage version of Frozen, which had a try-out run earlier this year in Denver, won largely positive reviews, with Variety calling it “crisp and original” and noting “We might even say better—or at least satisfyingly different—than the movie.” The Hollywood Reporter singled out Levy for “a deft mix of icy imperiousness and girlish yearning” and leading British theater journal The Stage praised her “immense soaring high notes.”
Hear them for yourself this weekend. It may be your last chance to catch Levy outside of Arendelle for quite a while.
Even as Levy leaves town, there will be more Disney magic in the air at Feinstein’s. On Sunday the 19th, members of the cast of Aladdin—playing at the Orpheum through January 7 — will show off their individual talents in a special concert performance to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.