Back to the Future and Frozen Dominate WhatsOnStage Awards | Theater

The West End musical Frozen, the story of an ice queen and her fearless sister that captivated an entire generation, topped the only major theater awards decided by public vote.

But the lavish production lost out in the Best New Musical category for Back to the Future: The Musical, an adaptation of the hit 1985 film about a young man forced to put up with his parents after he was accidentally fired aged 30. in time.

At a ceremony at the Prince of Wales Theater in London on Sunday evening, veteran actor Sir Ian McKellen received a service to the theater award in recognition of his seven-decade career, with performances ranging from Richard III to Widow Twankey .

McKellan, who performed a solo show in venues across the UK for his 80th birthday tour in 2019, has been honored for raising over £1million for theater charities and arts organizations .

The 22nd WhatsOnStage Awards were “a testament to the brilliance and resilience of an industry that, even in the darkest times of the past two years, kept the faith and carried on,” said Sarah Coleman, Director sales and website development.

Frozen, described by the Guardian as a “stunning musical extravaganza… full of visual thrills and gorgeous choreography,” won seven awards.

Oliver Ormson, who stars in Frozen, and Carrie Hope Fletcher, who stars in Cinderella. Photograph: Linda Nylind/The Guardian

Based on the 2013 Oscar-winning Disney film – which is inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale Frozen – it tells the story of estranged sisters Elsa and Anna and a kingdom trapped in the dark. eternal winter. His signature ballad, Let it Go, has become an anthem for millions of children around the world.

The musical opened at the Theater Royal Drury Lane last September after a delay caused by the Covid pandemic, and was playing to sold-out houses. But, like many West End shows, it was forced to cancel pre-Christmas performances when Covid hit cast and crew members.

It won awards for Best Direction, Set Design, Costume Design, Choreography, Video Design, Music Direction or Supervision, and Graphic Design.

In addition to Best New Musical, Back to the Future received three other awards for Best Supporting Performer in a Male Identification Role in a Musical for Hugh Coles, Lighting Design, and Sound Design.

WhatsOnStage changed the acting category titles “to represent everyone within the theater community”. “These are the first steps as we evolve the awards over the coming years to make them truly fully inclusive,” a spokesperson said.

Eddie Redmayne, the cabaret’s emcee, won best performer in a male identification role in a musical, and Carrie Hope Fletcher, who plays the title role in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cinderella, took home the award for Best Performer in a Female Identification Role in a Musical.

Anything Goes won Best Musical Revival, and a runner-up went to Carly Mercedes Dyer for Best Supporting Performer in a Female Identification Role in a Musical.

Best New Play went to 2:22 A Ghost Story, and Best Revival Play was won by Cyrano de Bergerac. Rent, at the Hope Mill Theater in Manchester, won the award for Best Regional Theater Production.

Coleman said: “The breadth of talent being honored today, at the first major theater awards to return in the midst of the post-pandemic, demonstrates that theater is back, and more.

“Today we also honor the public who supported us and who voted this year in numbers never seen before. We are nothing without them and are extremely grateful for their unwavering support. Together, we are rebuilding our industry.

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