by FRANCES (FRANNY) STEC, Osbourn Park High School
“Freaky Friday” has had its fair share of incarnations.
First adapted from the 1972 book by Mary Rodgers into a movie in 1976, it was adapted again in 1995 and 2003. Then changed into a musical in 2016, Disney released another adaptation in 2018, this time directly based off the musical. Finally, it was turned into a comedy-horror film in 2020.
Needless to say, Langley High School had some big shoes to fill.
The show follows the lives of Ellie and Katherine Blake as the mother-daughter duo switch places for 24 hours and have to blend in with the other’s peers.
In the body of Ellie, Katherine navigates being a teenager once again, dealing with bullies, “teen clichés,” and an insane gym class. In the body of Katherine, Ellie deals with the stress of planning a wedding, taking care of two kids, and her “son” Fletcher running away.
In order to switch back, the two of them must get a magical hourglass on the list for “The Hunt,” an event where teenagers do crazy tasks in order to become the champion.
Ultimately, the duo succeeded, and now have a better idea of who the other is and what they have to deal with.
Ellie (Tiffany Bennett) displayed incredible vocals, especially during her song, “Oh, Biology,” where Katherine deals with once again being in a teenager’s body and feeling teenage hormones.
She also worked well paired with Katherine (Claire Stephenson) during their song “I Got This,” where each of the girls bragged about how they would excel at the other’s life.
A favorite of the audience, Adam (Conor Farah) provided all the charm for the show, especially in his comedic song “Women and Sandwiches.” He stood out as an audience favorite and brought a cute slice of romance into Ellie’s life. He had great chemistry with Fletcher (Caleb Toronto) during their “bro” moments and made it a friendship the audience adored.
The costumes by Ella Smith, Evey Burnette, Logan Dooley and Bella Levin added to the atmosphere of the show. From Ellie’s AC/DC crop top to Katherine’s wedding dress, each of the costumes felt authentically 1990s and fit each character well. All the costumes worked well with the show and added to the ’90s aesthetic.
Each moment of “Freaky Friday” was unforgettable. The strong dancers in the ensemble made the production intense, and the cast of heavily comedic actors helped to make the show excel.
The Sun Gazette partners with the Critics and Awards Program (CAPPIES) to present student-written reviews of local high-school theater productions.
For more on the initiative, see the Web site at www.cappies.com/nca/.