For most people, when considering the idea of switching places with another person it’s usually someone that is wealthy, famous, or exceptionally talented in some form or another. The last person one considers is his or her own parents. I recently had the pleasure of viewing Freaky Friday the musical in Downtown San Diego at the San Diego Musical Theatre where I got to see the exact aforementioned situation. Except in song. And the experience was interesting to say the least.
Walking into the theatre, the first thing that grabs attention is the setup on the stage. Neon greens and purple lighting illuminated patterns of ropes that made it look like as if a spider tried to make a web with all the passion in avant-garde and then gave up. But in a good way. People began to fill the seats and the chatter of topics like school, the set, and other aspects of daily life while filled the air while others frantically waved to each other from opposite sides of the room. To my understanding there was magnetic pull to the right side of the room as people filled the seats all around my girlfriend and I, but nowhere else. A man with an interesting face that looked like Bill Clinton if Bill Clinton didn’t look like Bill Clinton entered the room and another guy sitting directly in front of me adjusts his pants giving a completely different view than the stage.
As the show began, the main heroine of the story Ellie Blake (Rivers Harris) rushes on stage and begins to narrate to the audience her experience. After a couple seconds of doing so, her mother Katherine Blake (Cassie Bleher) comes up to her and begins to nag. From the very beginning we obtain an understanding of their relationship as they continuously bicker and fight about small things including what they expect from each other. In addition, we understand that they both have their own agendas as they argue with each other about their lives. For Katherine, it is her wedding that she is planning for the next day, running her small business, and her interview for a magazine. For Ellie, it is coping with the death of her father, facing her crush Adam (Jack Setran), and going on a traditional scavenger hunt with her best friends.
On top of this, they argue about typical things that a child and parent would such as their choice in clothes or how to style their hair. Eventually they start arguing about an hour glass that Ellie received from her deceased father until mid-argument they magically switch bodies. After a few moments of freaking out, they confidently sing to each other that they can easily take over each other’s roles. From there, Ellie tries to calmly take over her mom’s responsibilities while Katherine goes to high school and relives puberty for a bit.
The humor that was implemented into musical was well written and made the experience much more enjoyable. There were some small mishaps within the show such as a literal ball that dropped into the audience or small moments of singing off tune, but I don’t expect everything to go overwhelmingly perfect every time when putting on a live performance. Then again I may just be a bit forgiving in that regard. Additionally, I noticed that even during a car scene no one opened any doors throughout the whole musical. I don’t know about anyone else in the theatre, but as far as I was concerned I just saw that everything everywhere had no doors. Which led me to the conclusion that privacy for these people must be incredibly difficult.
Despite all of that, the songs were good and a few were quite catch, the cast performed everything with vigor, and the jokes were in good taste and plentiful. The underlying lesson of the story was easily understood without being bluntly repeated. The cast, especially the leads, did a good job in playing their roles and their emotions as I managed to observe some tears in the audience. Overall, I had a good time and enjoyed the show. Well worth the viewing in my opinion. Just don’t forget to open any doors.
San Diego Musical Theatre‘s pre-professional program stages the family-friendly musical, “Freaky Friday.”
Based on the novel by Mary Rodgers and the hit Disney films, “Freaky Friday” is a heartfelt, comedic, and unexpectedly emotional update on an American classic.
When an overworked mother and her teenage daughter magically swap bodies, they have just one day to put things right again. By spending a day in each other’s shoes, Katherine and Ellie come to appreciate one another’s struggles, learn self-acceptance, and realize the immeasurable love and mutual respect that bond a mother and daughter.
The show is co-directed and choreographed by Katie Banville and Noelle Marion with musical direction by Andrew Orbison. The cast is made up of San Diego teens performing on SDMT’s mainstage theater.
For tickets and additional details call (833) 428-0956.
Dates: March 22 – 31, 2019
Show Times: Wednesday 7pm, Thursday 7pm, Friday 8pm, Saturday 8pm, Sunday 2pm
Director: Katie Banville, Noelle Marion
Cast Members: Cassie Bleher, Rivers Harris, Jack Setran, Venwar Almezory, Henry Austin, Mason Ballard, Makenna Boutelle, Audrey Duebig, Brandon Feffer, Kiara Geolina, Z Goldstein, Sonia Halle, Alanna Morgan, Mika Peck, CJ Rabine, Nicholas Redd, Elisabeth Renda, August Ballou Rutterbusch, Claire Scheper, Mia Sydney, Kiersten Waters, John Perry Wishchuk
Official Website: www.SDMT.org
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Summary: A stressed out Katherine Blake, overseeing plans for her wedding, and her teenage daughter Ellie Blake, a rebellious free spirit with a major crush, magically switch bodies for a day at the worst possible time. They must then spend the next 24 hours living each other’s lives and undergoing the challenges that each face in their own perspective lives.
Eddieson Burkhalter | Writing Contributor
B.A | Japanese | San Diego State Univ.
My name is Eddieson. I’m an open minded dreamer that likes to look for new opportunities, experiences, and challenges in life to make things a bit more interesting. After graduating from San Diego State University with a Japanese degree and minor in Business, I landed an office job in Shinjuku, Japan where I dealt with online marketing matters as well as content creation. Though I come from an international business background I could never escape the alluring call of an emotionally manipulating story, regardless of the medium, that could turn the toughest body builder into a two year old child watching The Muppets and eating “pig newtons”. So long as the story is well done it doesn’t matter to me whether it’s presented as a comic, video game, anime, book, movie, or even an interpretive dance with bananas and jello. After some intense independent study I have not only been more than inspired to join the industry, but brought to a point where I wonder why I gave up pursuing this stuff in college and turned to a course of pulling my hair out before each exam. Regardless, I love stories and hope to be presented with the opportunity to tell my own; most likely through writing. With a fire in my heart and goals set I am actively gaining skills each day to hopefully one day help others in their endeavors as well as achieve my own dreams. |Instagram @BlaEddieBla| View My Blogs
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