Twenty snow-making machines will cause a blizzard on the ice rink when "Disney on Ice: Frozen" comes to Nassau Coliseum next week.
Re-creating a story called "Frozen" in an ice arena was a gift, says show director Patty Vincent. But relying on ice alone to set the scene wasn't enough for her. "If we're doing 'Frozen,' we definitely have to have snow," she thought.
And so the audience will see the storm and feel the chill.
"Elsa throws her arms up and the whole room starts filling up with snow," Vincent says. "The kids go crazy."
Says Taylor Firth, who plays Princess Anna in the show, "Sometimes you have to put your hand up when you're skating through, just so you can see."
Staying loyal to the story line of the film "Frozen" was paramount, Vincent says. The ice show will follow the royal sisters as Elsa, who has trouble controlling her ability to freeze things, including her entire kingdom, exiles herself, and Anna tries to persuade her to return. "We had to be very truthful because the kids and families, everybody knows the movie so well," Vincent says.
At the beginning of the show, two young sisters belt out "Do You Want to Build a Snowman?" and the audience sing-along begins.
"They know every lyric. It's amazing," Vincent says. "I like to sit in between the kids. You hear their little angelic voices. It's just the sweetest thing. It brings you to tears."
Kids come to the performance dressed as Anna and Elsa, and even as Olaf, the snowman who keeps literally losing his head. "Elsa and Anna are rock stars, total pop stars," Vincent says. "It's a phenomenon. It's crazy." But Olaf holds his own as well. "Energetic, playful, youthful, giddy Olaf," Vincent says.
"Olaf definitely takes care of the comedic relief," Firth says. "He gets the most laughs. Olaf has a few mishaps with his pieces, but he always gets put back together."
Firth, who has played Disney characters in other ice shows, says this is the first time she's had a "really princessy" role. She says she had to be coached on becoming a princess -- "looking more balletic, how to hold my arms, skating pretty."
Firth's favorite scene in the show, which is about two hours long with intermission, is "Love Is an Open Door," when Anna and Hans are expressing their puppy love. "It's great choreography, and the song is catchy," she says. The hardest scene to skate is when Kristoff and Anna are being chased by the snowmonster called Marshmallow, she says.
Becky Bereswill, 24, has the coveted role of Elsa, and her favorite song? No surprise there. It's "Let It Go."
That's the highlight for most of the audience as well, Vincent says. "The kids can't wait," she says. "It blows the roof off the top of the building with everyone singing."
WHEN | WHERE Tuesday through Sunday at Nassau Coliseum, 1255 Hempstead Tpke., Uniondale
INFO Tickets start at $25; 800-745-3000, ticketmaster.com