Star-powered musical-comedy premiering at La Jolla Playhouse

Some theater-lovers may not recognize the names Robert Lopez or Kristen Anderson-Lopez, but many are sure to know the names of some of their creations - namely the song “Let It Go,” from the Disney movie “Frozen.”

The husband-and-wife composing team took home the 2014 Academy Award for best original song, and now, a production they helped create is being presented at the La Jolla Playhouse.

Starting with previews on Tuesday, July 28, the playhouse is mounting the production “Up Here,” a new musical-comedy featuring book, music and lyrics by the songwriting duo.

In addition to composing the acclaimed score from “Frozen,” Lopez’s theater resume includes writing the music for the smash-hit musicals “The Book of Mormon” and “Avenue Q.”

Meanwhile, Anderson-Lopez has composed for Disney World’s “Finding Nemo, The Musical.”

“Up Here” will be directed by Tony Award-nominee Alex Timbers, whose credits include Broadway’s “Rocky” and the Playhouse-born “Peter and the Starcatcher.”

“Bobby Lopez, Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Alex Timbers are the new musical theater rock stars of this generation,” said playhouse Artistic Director Christopher Ashley. “We’re tremendously excited to collaborate with them on developing this extraordinarily witty and wonderful piece that taps into the zeitgeist of millennials everywhere.”

The production, which is part of the La Jolla Playhouse’s 2015-16 season, tells the story of Dan, an ordinary guy with a boring social life, an unused gym membership and a lot going on upstairs. When he finds a potential spark with Lindsay, his attempts at love are jeopardized by his chaotic subconscious mind.

The production’s official opening is Saturday, Aug. 9, and the show runs through Sunday, Sept. 6.

Thanks to the star-power of its creators, there’s already been a lot of excitement about the show, which has been several years in the making.

The playhouse’s artistic director eyed the piece for quite some time - even before “Frozen.” Now, the playhouse that’s well-known for developing new projects and new works - some of which have gone on to Broadway - is home to the show’s world debut.

The cast is led by Broadway’s Betsy Wolfe (Broadway’s “Bullets over Broadway,” “The Mystery of Edwin Drood”) and newcomer Matt Bittner (Public Theater’s “Much Ado About Nothing”), in addition to Andrew Call, Giovanni Cozic, Jeff Hiller, Gizel Jimenez, Zonya Love (Playhouse’s “Side Show”), Sarah Meahl, Eric Petersen, Devin Ratray, Devere Rogers, Charles South and Nick Verina.

The ensemble features local actors Kikau Alvaro, Hanz Enyeart (Playhouse’s Without Walls presentation of “The Grift at the Lafayette Hotel”), Jacob Haren, April Jo Henry, Tamara Rodriguez and Graham Stevens, and University of California, San Diego, master of fine arts students N’Jameh Camara, Zakiyah Markland and Lorena Martinez.

For more information or to purchase tickets, call 858 550-1010 or visit

Source: DiscoverSD