LOGAN – The crew at Disney Theatrical have finally done it – created a musical that looks and sounds original.

Of course, they had a little help with Freaky Friday from veteran Broadway composing partners Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey.

The Lyric Repertory Company will debut Freaky Friday the Musical on Friday, June 24 at the Morgan Theatre in the Chase Fine Arts Center on the Utah State University campus. The musical is being directed by Jason Spelbring.

It was probably inevitable that this story of a mother and daughter switching souls would end up as a musical. The Disney folks have been beating the Freaky Friday drum for decades.

First there was really funny 1976 movie starring a teen-aged Jody Foster and Barbara Harris (Who? Well, I remember her even if you don’t).

Then there was a totally forgettable TV movie version of the same story starring Shelly Long (Who? Ted Danson’s girlfriend. Look up the TV sitcom Cheers).

Finally, the Disney folks did it again in a mildly amusing 2003 theatrical release starring Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan (Who? Never mind).

Unlike other Disney musicals (please don’t make me list them!), the Disney folks didn’t have a soundtrack from a musical cartoon to build on when they turned their money-making sights on Freaky Friday. Those earlier film versions of Freaky Friday were straight comedies without music.

So Disney Theatrical turned to Kitt and Yorkey to create a musical version of the story, practically from scratch.

Kitt and Yorkey had a string of praise-worthy previous collaborations, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning Broadway musical drama Next to Normal, about mental illness in suburban America.

Thankfully, their vision for “Freaky Friday” produced a more family-friendly, upbeat musical.

Spelbring has cast Lyric veteran Lacy J. Dunn as Katherine, the over-protective mother. Ms. Dunn is a member of the Actors’ Equity union and appeared previously in Lyric productions of Wait Until Dark, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Noises off, The Elephant Man, Tons of Money and the Musical of Musicals (the Musical).

Grace Cathryn Garner will portray Katherine’s rebellious daughter Ellie. She appeared in this year’s USU theatre productions of 9 to 5, Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley and Julius Caesar.

Other familiar faces in the cast of Freaky Friday include Blake Brundy, Mia Gatherum, Christopher Klinger, Kelly McGaw and McKenna Walwyn. Most of those actors are performing in multiple roles in the show.

Freaky Friday the Musical will be performed in repertory from June 24 to July 30.



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