If you haven’t heard, Frozen, the hit Broadway musical is currently playing at the KeyBank State Theatre at Playhouse Square in Cleveland. We caught up with actor Jeremy Morse, who plays the Duke of Weselton, to talk about the show and what it’s like touring with his family in tow.
Morse and his wife Alex are the proud parents of 11-month-old Clementine and have been raising her on the Frozen tour since she was about 2-months-old.
NEO Parent: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family.
Jeremy: “I grew up right outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in Havertown. I grew up always learning to sing. That kind of was my bridge into musical theater. I did this summer program at Upper Darby Summer Stage in Darby in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, which made me fall in love with theater. I have incredibly supportive parents and they were pushing me to do what I love, which is theater. I ended up getting into NYU early decision, and got a degree in vocal performance musical theater, which was a bachelor of music, which was, you know, coincided with my love of music, and from there, and I just kind of stayed in New York. I love developing new shows so that was kind of my thing that I did. Years later, my Broadway debut was Waitress and I did the national tour of that and my wife got to be on that show with me. We met before that through friends in New York, but I proposed to my wife before I left for the Waitress tour, then she got hired and we toured together for a year, which was incredible. We finished the Waitress tour and I booked the Frozen tour. We got married two days before the Frozen tours started so the timing was impeccable. We started the Frozen tour and then the pandemic hit so we hunkered down in New York for just a hot sec and then ended up staying with family in Massachusetts. Her family is in Plymouth so we stayed there for about 18 months. When Frozen was starting to come back, Disney was so incredibly supportive and gave me parental leave. Our baby, Clementine is 11-months- old and we joined the tour when she was two months old in Chicago.”
NEO Parent: Tell us a little bit about life on the road with your baby. Are you making memories in each city?
Jeremy: “She turned over in East Lansing and she started babbling in Orlando. So, we have all of these markers, which is just so, so cool. I remember the house or the Airbnb, I remember like going to that zoo, so, it’s been a really, really cool experience to get to have that. Our daughter is going to be, and already is, so adaptable, the way that she can just go into a new space and just like explorers. She gets to see so many different places and experience so many different things, which is, you know, really cool.”
Northeast Ohio Parent: You guys are in Cleveland for about a month so maybe she’ll do something cool here.
Jeremy: “I feel like she could start walking here. Which is exciting. Also, scary. She’s crawling and she can balance and like, stand by herself for a couple seconds. Also, probably some more teeth. She’s got some teeth that are on their way so some sleepless nights but very cute smile.”
Northeast Ohio Parent: Have you learned any like pro tips for traveling with a baby?
Jeremy: “This is not a plug for Marriott but like always, if you’re staying in a hotel, stay at a Residence Inn, and stay in a one bedroom so that you can have a separate space because your baby’s is going to go to sleep at like, 7 or 8 p.m. so stay where you can have a separate space so you don’t feel trapped. Have a really sturdy stroller that you can put stuff underneath it. We have the UppaBaby, which is fantastic. When booking an Airbnb or hotels, have a nearby place like a trail or a park, someplace that’s walkable. We go out and we will go for a walk. We’re up at like 6:45-7 a.m. every day and then we go for a walk. So that’s an amazing thing that we love to do. We have suction cup blackout curtains which are clutch. My wife did a ton of research. Everything is foldable and packable. So, it can be packed into the car and driven with us. We have a collapsible bathtub and her pack and play is her bed and we can carry it on as a backpack. So, everything is made to fly and pack and break down. Which is the only way that we could do this.”
Northeast Ohio Parent: Tell us about being part of the live theater performance of Frozen. What’s it like being part of a story that’s so cherished and loved by families?
Jeremy: “Frozen, the movie, the brand is geared towards kids, but also, I think that this specific production is so absolutely entertaining, and I think such a vital story for adults that teaches empathy that teaches the power of sisterhood and the power of family, the power of community, of coming together to overcome your own fears in your own eyes. With the pandemic, I feel like so many people navigated isolation and fear in such a difficult way for such a long period of time. And that, you know, coming to the theater is kind of like such the opposite of that, and overcoming that sort of gets to see that that story happen on stage in person is so moving .When I got to see the show when I came back into it in November of 2021, I cried. It’s such a moving, beautiful experience. I think the show is absolutely gorgeous and the story is so beautiful and it’s performed at such a high level.”
Northeast Ohio Parent: Tell us about the show. What can we expect?
Jeremy: “I mean, the show itself, like from top to bottom, I can say no expense has been spared. The projections, the lighting, the sound, the orchestra, the talent on stage is just like truly Broadway level. I feel honored to be performing next to every single person in this company. The technical elements specifically, are awe inspiring. Alongside that, with the performances, Caroline Bowman, as Elsa is just insane, her rendition of ‘Let It Go’ is so powerful, and so moving. Then Lauren Chapman who plays Anna is also like, equally spectacular, bring her own quirk and charm to the role of Anna. The ensemble is so incredible, Rob Ashworth’s choreography is ludicrous and beautiful. The orchestrations that Steven Oremus put together is just insane. And the music by the Lopez’s you know, it’s all the music from the movie, and then so much more, including a new song that was written and debuted for the tour. ‘I can’t lose you,’ which is in act two, it’s so gorgeous. So, I feel like top to bottom, the whole creative team put so much love and care into this production that it translates to the stage and such. It honors the movie, but having it be live on stage just you know, kicks it up a notch. It’s so incredibly spectacular.”
Northeast Ohio Parent: Is your daughter a Frozen fan yet? Has she seen any part of the show?
Jeremy: “She’s not quite there but we definitely sing ‘Let It Go’ to her. She loves that. We’ll definitely get her into Frozen as she gets older and can understand a little bit. Maybe in a couple years, who knows what my journey with the show will be. And you know, maybe it’ll be back and I’ll do it a couple years. Maybe she’ll play young Anna in like, seven years. We’ll see. We’ll see what happens.”