by James Brown III
Part of Our "Giving Notice" Series
It felt like the right time to leave Frozen, for a couple of reasons. The biggest reason was I was given another opportunity that I couldn’t pass up and an opportunity I am have been working towards for a few years. I was cast in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Broadway in a principal contract (#KeepTheSecrets), which would mark my Broadway play debut as well as my principal debut on Broadway. It would have been hard to pass up a show that is arguably more successful and more magical than Frozen and a show that gives me an opportunity to focus more on acting.
I will always find a home at Disney, Tom Schumacher and the team have been so loyal and supportive of my career for the last 15 years, but my journey with Frozen felt complete. I had been with the show for over a year, I had an amazing time helping create the show and the role of “King Agnarr," but artistically it was time to continue to grow somewhere else. I’ve been singing and dancing on Broadway for 17 years now. I was cast in The Lion King in 2001 and since then it’s been a blessing of big Broadway musicals, and while I am happy to still be able to dance, I would like to leave that skill in my back pocket for now.
I am going to miss my little ones at the show, my daughters and my Queen. One of my favorite pre-show rituals on this show was “family time” at the places call on stage with Ann Sanders (My Queen), Zoe, Mattea, Mimi, and Ayla (Young Anna/Young Elsa), and Lauren Hirsch (Forfin/Child Wrangler). It started organically and became an important part to grounding myself in the show and with them before the show started. We started singing songs and creating bits that we did everyday, they are a funny royal family. But these little shared moments really made my time at Frozen special. It was so amazing to see those kids still doing kid stuff and not just growing up quickly because they were surrounded by adults. They continued to be creative and dream despite already being on Broadway living their dreams. For a month, every Saturday one of them would throw a huge wedding where they got married to life-size printouts of a celebrity’s head on a stick. They would decorate their dressing room, invite some of the cast with gorgeous handmade invitations, throw a celebration specific to each groom, and all while wearing individually designed couture wedding dresses. As the King and their Father, I got to give each bride away, just so ridiculous and so fun. It was so amazing and beautiful, I will definitely miss that exploration of imagination, take it with me as I start my new journey. I will also miss my older daughters Caissie Levy and Patti Murin, both of them are such shining examples of humble, talented, giving, loving human beings...true princesses in my eyes.
I am looking forward to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, obviously! This show is even more magical than I could have expected. It’s unbelievable, and I am so excited to join the Hogwarts Express. I’ve been so lucky in my career to be a part of literal “magical” shows and this one tops them all, it’s a phenomenon no doubt. I’m also excited to have Mondays and Tuesdays off, the end!