BWW Review: FREAKY FRIDAY at Trollwood Performing Arts School
Trollwood gets Freaky!
Stories about adults and kids swapping bodies have been around for a while. Of course, you have some classic 80's movies like 18 Again! (1988) Starring George Burns, Like Father Like Son (1987) with Kirk Cameron and Dudley Moore and even Vice Versa (1988) with Fred Savage and Judge Reinhold.
Then you have the Disney versions with four movies from 1976, 1995 (the one we do not talk about), and 2003 and of course the new Musical version from 2018 all based on the original 1972 book by Mary Rodgers. Rodgers herself was actually around when they first started putting together a musical version. Sadly, Rodgers passed away in 2014 and never got to see the latest version of her story come to life.
Luckily, for us Trollwood decided to give Freaky Friday its regional premier. Now when Trollwood announced their 2019 Mainstage Musical I have to admit that I did not know there was a musical version, although my 12-year-old daughter sure did.
As usual, Trollwood does not disappoint. Every year at Trollwood, you know you can count on some very talented young performers and amazing vocal performances.
Right off the bat, I need to mention the wonderful pit orchestra directed by Sue Jordahl. Sue is an extremely gifted pit director and brings out the best in the young musicians.
Now back to the vocals. Starting with Andie Peterson as Katherine. Most people will remember Andie from previous years at Trollwood including supporting leads in The Little Mermaid, Beauty and The Beast and of course, the lead character in last year is Hello Dolly. I was also luckily enough to see her this past school year in the West Fargo production of The Secret Garden. We get to hear that powerful voice on many songs including Just One Day, Busted, Somebody Has got to Take the Blame, Parents Lie and one of my favorite songs of the show the heartwarming song After All of This and Everything which has Andie singing to young actor Keagan Kratcha (Fletcher) as he is sleeping.
Next, we have McKenna Brye as Ellie. Now this name might not be familiar to many, as she has been in the ensemble the past few years of Trollwood but McKenna definitely steps into the spotlight in her biggest role to date. This young woman can sing and we get to hear her on over half of the songs performed. She really shines on I Got This, Just One Day and Oh Biology. I look forward to seeing more from McKenna in the future.
Some of the best performances of the night were songs that featured both Andie and McKenna. These two young women had such great chemistry on stage and their voices blend very well together. Two of the best were Today and Ev'ryday and Bring My Baby (Brother) Home.
Next up we have Alaina Droog as Torrey, you may remember her as Irene Malloy in Hello Dolly. Alaina plays the assistant to Katherine and is perfect in her role. My one complaint is that we did not get to hear her do a solo performance. We did get to hear her on Just One Day, What You Got and I'm Not Myself Today. Alaina is very talented and it was great seeing her on stage again.
Ryan Schlepp as Mike, Katherine's fiancé, was another great casting choice. Ryan is such a talent and it has been great to watch him grow on stage the past few years. Ryan was Barnaby last year in Hello Dolly and had an amazing performance as Archibald Craven in The Secret Garden at West Fargo High this past year. Ryan really was able to shine on his solo performance in Vows.
Dexter Conlin, Cornelius last summer in Hello Dolly, was hilarious as Adam the love interest of Ellie. His stage presence was perfect and I enjoyed every scene he was in. He absolutely killed it on the song Go. Another of my favorite performances of the show was Women and Sandwiches with Adam (Dexter) and Fletcher (Keagan). This was a beautiful moment on the show.
Keagan Kratcha as Fletcher is a very talented young man who was able to hold his own with the older performers on stage. We did not really get to hear him on any full solo performances but there were some short solo's on Driving with my Mom and Shopping with my Mom. His on stage chemistry with Andie and McKenna was so good.
I do have to mention a few of the supporting cast/ensemble members that also stood out to me. Jordan Kalvoda and MaTia Martin as Grandpa Gordon and Grandma Helene, Ian Natvig as Pastor Bruno, Abbey Greenawalt as Savannah, Trinity Kirschenmann as Gretchen, Claire Fenelon as Hannah, Parker Degerness as Officer Kowalski and Wren Holt as Senor O'Brien.
I have to congratulate the whole cast and crew on another amazing mainstage musical. It is always a pleasure to attend a Trollwood production. You still have many more opportunities to see this show and I highly recommend that you do.
**Photo Credits Gary Inman
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