Caissie Levy and Patti Murin Let It Go as They Say Farewell to Frozen
The cold might not bother them, but saying goodbye sure does.
Frozen will mark its 799th performance on Broadway on Sunday, February 16. That night will also serve as Patti Murin and Caissie Levy's last show as Anna and Elsa.
Doing Frozen on Broadway for so long (while they haven't done all 799 shows, they've performed in the bulk of them) has certainly changed Levy and Murin's lives. They've grown as actors and as humans, learned the value of self-care, and become as connected in real life as the sisters they play onstage. Here, they look back on the last two years of their lives. But don't expect to hear any regrets. They don't believe in them.
How have your performances as Anna and Elsa evolved over time?
Patti: It just gets deeper the better you get to know a character and live with her over a long period of time. It's like how in real life, you get to know yourself better as you mature and get older. So it's definitely more nuanced and freer now that I feel like Anna is truly a part of me.
Caissie: I've continued to play within moments and songs, and find new things to explore in her night after night. Creating this role has been the most satisfying thing I've done in my career.
What are the challenges of doing the show for this long? How do you keep it new?
Caissie: I always compare eight shows a week in a long run to a yoga practice. You do the same sequence of postures on the mat, but it's different each day because you're different each day. I work well in long runs. I like the consistency and responsibility, and the ability to be creative daily within that framework.
Patti: It's actually easy to keep it new! It's a new audience every night with a new energy, and as you get into a long run, people take vacations or personal/sick days, and everyday it's a new combination of cast members onstage to play with. It's a story that I love telling from beginning to end eight times a week, so it really helps that I've connected to it so deeply.
What have you learned about yourselves as actors and people along the way?
Caissie: I've learned that I can be vulnerable and open and ask for help, and still be strong simultaneously. The soft and the hard are intrinsically linked. And I'm a better actor and person the more I embrace that.
Patti: I got to give myself a master class in comedy through this role. Saying the same lines every single day, getting to pick them apart to figure out why I get a laugh some performances and not others, it's been a dream. I have learned so much about timing and what makes funny "funny" from this show, and I will carry it with me through the rest of my career.
Patti, what's the most important thing you've learned from Caissie, and Caissie, what's the most important thing you've learned from Patti?
Patti: Caissie is one of the strongest women I've ever met. She taught me how to be confidently decisive, especially in the name of self-care, when you're being pulled in a million different directions. She also shows every single day how freaking amazing mothers are in this crazy industry. She is raising the most magical little boy, and while I know it hasn't been easy to balance, she has constantly excelled at motherhood and kicking ass every night as Queen Elsa. When I finally have my own child, I have no doubt that Caissie will be first on my speed dial for advice and support. She's my sister for life.
Caissie: Patti has taught me a lot about not shying away from sharing who you really are with the world. She's an incredibly open person, and I've been inspired by that quality onstage of course, but also in the way she's handled adversity in her life offstage. She's not interested in projecting a false aura of perfection, and that's where I think her magic lies as Anna and also as herself. I love her a lot.
Do you have any regrets?
Caissie: Not a single one. I don't believe in regrets.
Patti: I don't believe in regrets, either. As we say in the show, "The past is in the past." My heart is too full to have any regrets from this whole chapter of my life.