FROZEN Jr The Musical (FULL SHOW) in HD - John F. Kennedy High School - December 13, 2019

  • Published on:  Tuesday, December 15, 2020
  • John F. Kennedy High School Presents
    FROZEN Jr The Musical • December 13, 2019
    Cedar Rapids, Iowa, USA

    This is the final performance of FROZEN Jr. The Musical at John F. Kennedy High School, 7:30 pm on Dec 13, 2019, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. FROZEN Jr. The Musical was the last in-person live theatre performance at the high school before the Covid-19 pandemic. It also was the last live performance before a devastating derecho severely damaged the performing arts center at the high school, on August 10, 2020.

    (Surprisingly, this video has now been viewed over 458,000 times on YouTube, exactly one year to the day after it was posted.)

    Productions notes:
    Directed by Nick Hayes with technical direction by Steven Tolly and choreography by the incomparable Alisabeth Von Presley. It was Von Presley who choreographed the 'ice dancers' to represent Elsa's magic, adding an inventive element to the production. A few examples of the ice dancers' artistic performance are during 'Let It Go' (at 38:28); when Elsa accidentally casts a spell on Anna (at 44:54); and just before Elsa believes she has 'killed' her sister (at 53:40 and 54:43). They also serve as Olaf's 'personal flurry' (at 56:40).

    The production featured 42 stage performers (photo at 1:00:53) and 28 technical crew members (1:00:56)

    Yes, that is indeed 'snow' falling (at 1:00:08).

    The innovative sub-floor lighted stage concept was designed and created by Director Hayes, and the director's father.

    The leading roles for both grown-up Princess Elsa and Princess Anna were double-cast. This allowed the students to recover between their total of 10 shared performances. The multiple characters may be seen in the cast photos (at 1:00:53).

    The improvised dialog between Kristoff and Sven (at 26:26) and their interaction with the audience was added to allow extra time for a major costume change for Princess Anna.

    A bit of trivial irony: In this final performance, the student who played the role of Princess Elsa (Kira Manuel), who is a natural brunette, wore a blonde wig. The student who portrayed Princess Anna (Betsy Marlow), a natural blonde, became a redhead for the role. The ruse was successful, as one young audience member commented to Princess Anna (at 1:04:04) after a performance, "We have matching hair!"

    The student playing the role of Sven the Reindeer (Bobbie Scott) also was elected Homecoming Queen by the 1,800 students of Cedar Rapids Kennedy High School, in the fall of 2019.

    Despite the sharing of lead roles, a demanding performance schedule took it's toll:
    The student playing the role of the grown-up Princess Anna (Betsy Marlow) in this final production was suffering from laryngitis / inflamed vocal cords, but with the support of her talented friends and cast mates, delivers an inspired performance.

    The majority of students in this production of FROZEN Jr. The Musical also are members of Kennedy High School's show choir program. This helped to create a powerhouse cast of accomplished singers and dancers with competition-level experience, making the choreographer's job much easier.

    This Kennedy High School production was part of Playtime Poppy Children's Theatre program. Since 1950, Playtime Poppy Children’s Theatre has entertained, educated and engaged the community to inspire a lifetime love of theatre for all. The Playtime Poppy production rotates annual performances between 3 high school theatre departments: Cedar Rapids Jefferson High School, Cedar Rapids Kennedy High School, and Cedar Rapids Washington High School.

    This video utilized a Sony A7iii camera, (shot at 4K, 24 fps, uploaded at 1080p) and a RØDE video stereo microphone. Edit and post-production in Final Cut Studio X.