This October, Covedale Center for the Performing Arts is bringing the musical Freaky Friday to its stage. Based on the novel by Mary Rodgers and the Disney films of the same name, this familiar tale boasts a book by Bridget Carpenter, music by Tom Kitt, and lyrics by Brian Yorkey. In case you are not familiar with its premise, Freaky Friday is about a mother and daughter who each feel the other does not understand her. Without warning, they switch bodies – and the lessons begin.
The Freaky FridayProduction Team
With a large and solid cast, Director/Choreographer Genevieve Perrino has her work cut out for her. Fortunately for audiences, she has managed to give us a strong and talented cast. Music Director Ted Baldwin is also to be commended for his work with the many solo pieces and group numbers alike. Vocals are clear and understandable and pacing is excellent. Kudos also to Sound Design by Jamie Steele – nothing is too hot and all can be heard clearly.
Scenic Design by Brett Bowling is very effective and scene changes run rather quickly. (I imagine the larger cast helps with that part of things, but they are absolutely on their game and move with purpose.) In addition, the team of Scenic Artists (Jeff Centrello, Jeremiah Plessinger, Jeff Hartman, Kevin Haverbusch, and Justin Reilmann) clearly put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into the project.
The Performing Artists
Dear Cincinnati: please put Sarah D. Cohen on more stages. This powerhouse singer and performer is a force with which to be reckoned. Matching Ms. Cohen toe-to-toe is Savannah Boyd as Ellie. Not only is Ms. Boyd a force all her own, but the two artists’ voices blend beautifully together (an important thing for this kind of show). Not only can these fantastic women sing, they can act – a trait which can be lost in musical theatre. Bravas across the board!
Another standout in the show is Clare Hingsbergen in multiple roles, but highest of note is her turn as the gym teacher, Ms. Meyers. Ms. Hingsbergen owns the stage with her athletic gait and her show-stopping voice. Her expressions are also top-notch. Yet another artist who needs to be on more stages.
Both Ms. Perrino and Assistant Choreographer Anna Rae Brown do excellent jobs in their management of the movement and advanced dancing with which the ensemble graces the crowd. The pacing of the entire show is absolutely reflective of the anxiety both mother and daughter are feeling as they try to navigate new circumstances while trying to figure out how to undo them. I do not envy the performers for the amount of energy they must have to wrangle!
With a hint of magic that is particularly appropriate for “spooky season” and a lot of catchy tunes and fun dances, Freaky Friday is a really enjoyable time at the theatre for all ages. If my nieces lived in town, I would gladly share this show with them.
Tickets to Freaky Friday
Freaky Friday presented by Covedale Center for the Performing Arts runs now through November 5. Tickets can be purchased by going to their website.