“Life can be so much more – with you!”
Yesterday, I spoke about a performer who was so perfect in her role, it was like she’d stepped right out of a movie. Yet her empathetic ability to impart such emotion into the character created depth from what could easily have been just a physical and vocal re-creation.
Today’s spotlight turns to another member of the cast who also impressed mightily – by his digression from what was onscreen!
One of the things I miss most since Frozen – Live at the Hyperion replaced Disney’s Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular at Disney California Adventure is the spontaneity and freshness that the previous show provided every time I saw it. It was Genie’s character that brought something different and exciting to every performance.
Unfortunately, the new Frozen show is an automaton by comparison – turning out unchanging interpretations by most performers just focused for now on hitting their marks and lines each time. But happily, not all!
I was very pleasantly surprised when I recently attended two back-to-back showings of Frozen – Live at the Hyperion and was heartily entertained by Hans’ performance in both!
First of all – he played off of and responded to the audience, which was a delight to watch happen! The staging in this show is such that several characters work their way through the theater at various times, but this guy was the only one to actually acknowledge the audience at different points while still staying totally in character. In fact, this use of the crowd fed the substance of his character incredibly well!
There were two moments I particularly noticed and enjoyed in both shows – one was his cocky flirtatious winks and points at folks sitting near the stage. This totally worked for his take on the character (more about which momentarily). And another was the moment when Hans was holding cloaks for the citizens of Arendelle – as he asked which citizens needed them, several hands shot up in the audience and he immediately aimed his next lines in their direction. A perfect organic response that made everyone in the theater feel more a part of the story!
But the other aspect of his performance was in fact the exact opposite reason I’d enjoyed Elsa’s so much – because he reinvented the character and played him in a distinct and fun manner from the film!
CHARACTER SPOILERS AHEAD!
Rather than act as if Hans was so noble until his villainous reveal late in the story, this guy made Hans seem like a total player right from the start! Here Hans is a sleazy jerk, who everyone except Anna can see right away is nothing but trouble. And yet… he still manages to be so utterly dishy and appealing that it’s hard to dislike him even though you know he’s up to no good!
Fully embracing this character as a narcissistic bad boy from the start, the performance is wickedly fun to watch and he looks like he’s having a blast doing it, too!
Having a terrific voice as rich as Anna’s favorite dessert doesn’t hurt either. Nor does his ability to master the dance moves from ballroom to body rolls!
I also appreciated his fresh and slightly different takes on his flirtations with Anna in each show, too. Watching this guy improvise just a bit gave the show some of the flavor and variety that I’ve missed from Aladdin – as the show is otherwise so rote.
Although my frozen heart was thawed by Elsa this time around, somehow Hans still grabbed some of my attention with his unique, playful and you-really-don’t-want-to-like-him-but-you-still-do-anyway performances in the show!
Check out some of this guy’s performance here on the Mousertainment YouTube Channel!
Is he your favorite performer?