‘Freaky Friday’ a musical hit


Jim Carmody / Alley Theatre

Emma Hunton (left) and Heidi Blickenstaff in Disney’s Freaky Friday, book by Bridget Carpenter, music by Tom Kitt, lyrics by Brian Yorkey, and directed by Christopher Ashley. Photo by Jim Carmody, courtesy of Alley Theatre.

Alyssa Foley, News Editor

Even if you think you know the story, ‘Freaky Friday’ the musical at Houston’s Alley Theatre still surprises and delights.

This new musical production of the familiar tale of a mother and teenaged daughter mysteriously swapping bodies is even better than the Lisney Lohan version.

Both Heidi Blickenstaff (Katherine/Mother) and Emma Hunton (Ellie/Daughter) phenomenally master the challenging roles of playing one character and then convincing us that they are another character throughout the show. Their character swaps are flawless as they each borrow the attitudes and mannerisms of the other.

Blickenstaff and Hunton both have the singing voices to execute the amazing and catchy songs in this musical. This should come as no surprise since both women are Broadway veterans, Blickenstaff’s Broadway credits include ‘Something Rotten!’, ‘The Addams Family’ and ‘Disney’s The Little Mermaid’ while Hunton performed in Broadway’s ‘Spring Awakening’ and ‘Next to Normal’)..

Expect ‘Just One Day’, ‘Oh, Biology’, and ‘Busted’ to get stuck in your head for a few days after seeing the show. Luckily, the whole original soundtrack is on Amazon and Spotify

While both mother and daughter are lost in each other worlds, in the end, they find each other and themselves through the freaky mishap. The story is all about re-discovering family. Be prepared to sweat through your eyes a little at the end.

This musical draws from ‘Freaky Friday’ the novel (1972), the first film starring Barbara Harris and Jodie Foster (1976), the second film starring Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan (2003). 

The musical’s book is by Bridget Carpenter (Friday Night Lights, Parenthood) and score by the Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning team of Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey (Next to Normal, If/Then) is directed by Cleveland Play House Artistic Director Christopher Ashley (Come From Away, Memphis) and choreographed by Sergio Trujillo (Memphis, Jersey Boys).

‘Freaky Friday’ the musical at the Alley Theatre downtown runs through July 2. Performances of Freaky Friday are Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday at 7:30 pm, Friday at 8pm, Saturday at 2:30pm and 8 pm, and Sunday at 2:30 pm and 7:30 pm. 

Student discount tickets are available for $16 on weekdays and $26 on weekends, use promotion code STUDENT when you purchase tickets online here.