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Theater Talk: Mason Reeves, who plays "Kristoff" in Disney's FROZEN now at Shea's, takes us behind the curtain

Deen Van Meer
Disney's Frozen North American Tour
Mason Reeves as Kristoff in a diverse cast in Disney's FROZEN, which opens at Shea's tonight.

Actor, singer, dancer (he admits he likes acting best) Mason Reeves is just out of college (U. Michigan, where he left early to work on stage while finishing his BFA online) but has already had roles at major regional playhouses, including The Muny and the Bucks County Playhouse. Having already started touring with FROZEN, he and the entire troupe were part of the great shutdown for 18 months. But, for the past four weeks (two in a rehearsal space and two weeks "teching" on stage at Shea's) he's been in Buffalo and enjoying himself.

While the musical FROZEN is slightly different from the movie, Reeves says that it's "steeped in Broadway tradition" and that while animation and film use some techniques to convey emotion, on stage that's often done with songs, and there are ten new songs to be heard. And while the movie was directed at children, the stage show has more to offer adults, who may be surprised at how emotional they'll feel at this powerful story of sisterhood.

FROZEN Sven (Evan Strand) and Kristoff (Mason Reeves) rehearsing in early August in Buffalo.jfif
Shea's Buffalo
L-R Evan Strand as "Sven" the reindeer rehearses backstage with Mason Reeves as "Kristoff" in early August backstage at Shea's

When asking about his constant sidekick "Sven" Reeves revealed that each night one of two actors plays the reindeer, a performance he likens to holding a plank, with a heavy costume on your back, supporting yourself on arm stilts, while moving the eyes, ears, mouth, and head of this large wearable puppet.

While there is a minor love story between the characters "Kristoff" and "Anna" Reeves says the true through-line is all about sisters and the power of love.

Under the heading of PATRON HEALTH AND SAFETY Shea's has this MASK POLICY on their website:
As we raise the curtain for Disney’s Frozen, all patrons, volunteers, and staff are required to wear a mask regardless of vaccination status. Masks are required at all times – upon arrival, performance, and departure. All employees, volunteers, and security personnel working the performances at Shea’s are fully vaccinated. Fully vaccinated means that an individual is, at minimum, 14-days past their final vaccination shot.

Hand sanitizer is available throughout the lobby.

Concession Stands and Bars are not operating during performances of Disney’s Frozen, for the health and safety of our patrons, staff, cast, and crew. No outside food or beverage will be allowed in the theatre.

All persons entering the theatre, regardless of age, must have a ticket. Children under two are not permitted in the theatre.

Shea’s Performing Arts Center’s policies will continue to evolve as conditions change. Shea’s will follow the safety protocols from the CDC, New York State, and Erie County. We will continue to keep patrons informed.

Just as the Artie Awards have been postponed due to Covid, there was no 2021-2022 CURTAIN UP! celebration. But curtains (do any theaters other than Shea's actually have curtains anymore?) did "go up" and the 2021-2022 season began last night with:

Sep 9 - Oct 2* WHITE RABBIT, RED RABBIT at The Alleyway Theater https://www.alleyway.com/ featuring Melinda Capeles, Victoria Pérez, Darryl Semira, Alex Watts, and Brandon Williamson

Sep 9 - Oct 2 SPEED OF DARK, by local African-American playwright Mark Humphries, presented by American Repertory Theater (ART) of WNY at Compass Performing Arts Center (the old "Theaterloft" now Compass Performing Arts Center at 545 Elmwood Avenue), featuring Quentin Gray, Hugh Davis, Vincenzo McNeill, Monish Bhattacharyya (see photo).

Sep 9 - Sep 19 ART at O'Connell & Company on their 3200 Elmwood Avenue (Kenmore, NY) stage.

Sep 10 - Sep 24 FROZEN at Shea's Performing Arts Center featuring Mason Reeves as Kristoff.


Sep 10 - Oct 3 TO THE NEW GIRL by Samantha Macher, presented by First Look Buffalo, produced by Pandora Kew and Vanessa Shevat starring: Kari Becker, Mary Craig, Ciara Davie, Sarah Emmerling, Pandora Kew, Jessie Miller, Kathleen Recchoine, Kathryn Schneider, Vanessa Shevat, and Davida Tolbert.

Sep 15 - Oct 17 CAMELOT at MusicalFare featuring Darryl Semira as Arthur, Gabby McKinley as Guenevere, Alejandro Gabriél Gómez as Lancelot, Emily Jimenez as Sagramore, Darryl Semira as Lancelot

Listen for Theater Talk, Friday morning at 6:45 and 8:45 during Morning Edition.
Even though "semi-retired," Peter Hall continues to wear many hats. He is the Sunday afternoon host on WBFO’s “sister station,” Classical 94.5 / WNED where he has produced over 1,000 radio interviews with musical artists. If you see him at a theater with a pen in his hand, he’s probably getting ready to co-host “Theater Talk” with Anthony Chase (heard Friday mornings at 6:45 and 8:45 a.m. on WBFO) or to write a review for www.buffalorising.com. He is also a member of the "Artie Awards" committee (think “Tony Awards for Buffalo theaters”).
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