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SCERA Center for the Arts to Present Disney's FREAKY FRIDAY: THE MUSICAL

Freaky Friday: The Musical will play February 5-20.

SCERA Center for the Arts to Present Disney's FREAKY FRIDAY: THE MUSICAL

In today's freaky world, at least one piece of musical theatre uses the word "freaky" in a positive way to explore relationships, empathy and literally stepping in someone else's shoes.

SCERA Center for the Arts is mounting a lively version of Disney's "Freaky Friday: The Musical" which will begin - of course - on a Friday. Playing February 5-20, the hilarious and surprisingly heartfelt show highlights a musical score by Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey, a duo that shares a Pulitzer Prize for their musical talents. The musical is based on the book by Mary Rodgers and the Disney films.

Performances will run Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. Tickets at $10 for adults and $8 for children 3-11 and seniors 65 and older are available at www.scera.org, by calling 801-225-ARTS, or in person at the SCERA Center (745 S. State St., Orem) weekdays from 10am-6pm. Additionally, $6 tickets are available to non-profit and church groups of 20 or more. All seats are reserved, with reduced capacity and distanced seating for COVID safety. Masks are required.

Director Kathryn Laycock Little is excited about the show, which will feature 46 performers and showcase the best of the SCERA's award-winning high school company, Acting Up! The group of talented triple threat students travel each year to the Musical Theatre Competitions of American in Fullerton, CA, where they regularly place in the top tier, competing against other high schools from across the country.

"This musical is even better than the movies on which the story is based," she says. "I am in love with the score." Little, who is as well-known for her vocal musical talents as well as her directing, consistently looks for excellent music when selecting musical theatre. "You might ask why music is needed for a non-musical story that was popular each time it was made into a movie, but the music really advances the show's viewpoint. Our cast loves the story and contemporary music from up-and-coming composers."

The story features an overworked mother and her teenage daughter who magically switch bodies and only have one day to correct the mix up before the mother's scheduled wedding. The switch leads to each character beginning to understand each other. Little says, "The daughter learns what her mother is going through, and the mother realizes how difficult it is to be young, particularly in getting people to take her seriously. In one scene, the family's brother runs away, and no one will listen to his mother, because she is trapped in a teenage body. It's a great way to understand each other's perspectives."

Set designer Shawn M. Herrera is focusing his design on the two primary characters by having one half of the set designed for the mother and the other half for the daughter. "The center is a nebula, the place where the characters switch characters and can get insights and 'aha' moments," Little says. "Shawn, along with Liz Griffith and her amazing lighting, always create visual delights and color-filled stages."

Little says the production is "so much fun for everyone," but adds that in addition to the fun, it also will help people leave the show feeling better than they came. "While it is light and joyful, it's got many solid things to say in an upbeat and hopeful way."

Assisting Little are Brodee Ripple as choreographer and costume designer; Kathi Elison as stage manager; Christy Norton as props designer; and Chase Elison as sound designer.

Starring in "Freaky Friday" are Ella Child as Katherine, the mother; Haven McGee as Ellie, the daughter; Brady Garner as Adam, the young love interest, and Gabe Wright as Mike, the older love interest.


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