Freaky Friday is a real delight at the La Jolla Playhouse. The production is trying to go to Broadway and I definitely think it is worth seeing at this stage. It is not a perfect piece of theater, but it has a lot going for it. The biggest thing is the music. The team that won the Pulitzer for Next to Normal (Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey) have created some really wonderful songs that will stay with you. One favorite is “Oh, Biology” which takes place in a biology class and has a great beat that really gets the cast and audience going.
I haven’t seen the movies in a while, but I’m positive the musical has taken liberties that I feel are welcome. I don’t want to list them all, but one great example is that the daughter is over-weight, which helps add another dramatic layer to the mother-daughter dynamic. There is a theme of body issues which I believe is great for all the young females who will inevitably be watching this show with their mothers.
The cast is very strong and often doubles up on parts. My favorite though is Heidi Blickenstaff, who plays a wonderful mother and portrays an angst filled teen with comedic ease. She is a magnet to the eyes and every scene she inhabits is stolen by her talent.
If you have a chance to see Freaky Friday it is a fun night out for the family. When we went the cast received an immediate standing ovation, which is rare these days.