Breaking News: Heidi Blickenstaff & Emma Hunton Will Lead FREAKY FRIDAY at DC's Signature Theatre
Heidi Blickenstaff (Broadway's Something Rotten!) and Emma Hunton (Broadway's Spring Awakening) are set to star as mother and daughter in the world premiere production of the new musical Freaky Friday at Signature Theatre. The musical, based on the beloved 1972 novel by Mary Rodgers and hit Disney films and developed by Disney Theatrical Productions expressly for licensing to theatres, features a book by Bridget Carpenter, music by Tom Kitt and lyrics by Brian Yorkey. This premiere production will be directed by Christopher Ashley with choreography by Sergio Trujillo. Freaky Friday will run from October 4 - November 13 in Signature Theatre's MAX Theatre. Further casting and creative team members will be announced in the coming months.
Heidi Blickenstaff and Emma Hunton star as Katherine and Ellie Blake, an overworked mother and her teenage daughter who magically swap bodies and have just one day to put things right again before mom's big wedding. Freaky Friday, a new musical comedy based on the celebrated novel by Mary Rodgers and hit Disney films, is a hilarious, contemporary update of an American classic in which a mother and daughter really see what it is to be a family and experience each other's lives first-hand, if only for a day.
"I'm so excited that Heidi Blickenstaff and Emma Hunton will introduce a whole new generation to FreakyFriday," said director Christopher Ashley. "I have no doubt that their powerhouse performances will ignite this musical adaptation of Mary Rodgers's timeless story of mothers and daughters."
Heidi Blickenstaff comes directly from the Broadway company of Something Rotten! where she originated the role of Bea. She was part of the original creative team for the Tony-nominated and Obie Award-winning Broadway musical [title of show] and Now. Here. This. at The Vineyard Theatre. On Broadway, Heidi played Alice Beineke in The Addams Family, Ursula in Disney's The Little Mermaid and Susan Hershey in The Full Monty. Heidi won a Helen Hayes Award for her role as Ann Mitchell in Meet John Doe at Ford's Theatre and appeared in the world premiere production of First You Dream: The Music of Kander and Ebb at Signature Theatre.
Emma Hunton's credits include the Broadway production of Spring Awakening, as well as the Off-Broadway production of RENT. She appeared as Elphaba in the 1st National Tour of Wicked and Natalie in the 1st National Tour of Next to Normal.
Set in the present day, Freaky Friday features a tuneful pop-rock score, fittingly for a work that has effortlessly updated throughout its several iterations. The novel (1972), the first film starring Barbara Harris and Jodie Foster (1976), the second film starring Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan (2003) and this new stage musical are all set in their respective present day.
The creative team comprises some of the most sought-after artists working in the musical theatre and a major voice new to the medium. Playwright Bridget Carpenter writes her first musical book, having served as co-executive producer and writer on two recent beloved TV hits, "Friday Night Lights" and "Parenthood," and as executive producer and showrunner of Hulu's highly-anticipated event series "11.22.63," based on the Stephen King bestselling novel. Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and a Tony Award for their ground-breaking Next to Normal and most recently created the celebrated musical If/Then, which premiered at The National Theatre in Washington, DC. Director Christopher Ashley is a two-time Tony nominee (Rocky Horror Show and Memphis) and artistic director of the world-renowned La Jolla Playhouse. Olivier Award winner and Tony nominee Sergio Trujillo, one of Broadway's busiest choreographers, is best known for the 10-year smash Jersey Boys and his newest hit On Your Feet.
The title was developed by Disney Theatrical to be licensed via partner Music Theatre International first to professional and then amateur theatres. It follows the trajectory of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, which is now available to professional theatres worldwide following acclaimed engagements at La Jolla Playhouse and Paper Mill Playhouse.