FROSTY, Emerald City Theatre Company, at the Apollo Theater. The familiar snowman is still "a jolly, happy soul" in this new children's musical: Alyn Cardarelli's book and lyrics and Steve Goers's music are original, but the song "Frosty the Snowman" inspires the plot. Samantha and James plan to win the science fair by bringing a snowman to life, but their efforts fail until they ask the young audience for advice. Still, success is thwarted by the interference of bully Sidney and his dim lackey, Worm.
Directed by Ann Filmer, Frosty is a fresh, funny take on a classic, employing not only audience assistance but that other favorite gimmick of children's theater, broad physical comedy. The fine cast plays up the humor--and the actors stuck with it even when parts of the set collapsed at the matinee I attended. Particularly noteworthy are Craig Thompson, who brings joy and magic to Frosty; Mary Theresa Archibold, truly fun as the gung-ho if misguided Worm; and Marc Pera as a smoothly self-centered Sidney. The show would be even better if the performers were stronger singers; as it is, the musical numbers are pleasant but not powerful.