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FREAKY FRIDAY Musical Extends Again at La Jolla Playhouse

Due to overwhelming demand, La Jolla Playhouse is adding a seventh week of performances for Disney's Freaky Friday. The show will extend its run through March 19.

This is the second and final extension as this production must travel to engagements in Cleveland and Houston.

Disney's new musical Freaky Friday is based on the celebrated novel by Mary Rodgers and two hit Disney films. The classic story of a mother and daughter who magically swap bodies for 24 chaotic hours has been given a contemporary spin with a hilarious new book by Bridget Carpenter ("Parenthood," "Friday Night Lights") and "a driving pop-rock score" (DC Metro Theatre Arts) by Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winners Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey (Next to Normal, If/Then). Freaky Friday features inventive staging by Playhouse Artistic Director Christopher Ashley (Come From Away, Memphis) and sharp choreography by Sergio Trujillo (Memphis, Jersey Boys).

"It is tremendously gratifying that audiences are embracing this vibrant and touching new musical," said Ashley. "This extraordinary company gives their all at every performance, sharing a classic story that is heartfelt, hilarious - and absolutely universal."

The cast features Heidi Blickenstaff (Broadway's Something Rotten, [title of show]) and Emma Hunton (Broadway's Spring Awakening, Next to Normal) in the roles of "Katherine Blake" and "Ellie Blake," respectively, who have been delivering "show-stopping performances" (The Wrap) and "bringing something new and authentic to the stage" (San Diego Union-Tribune). The full cast includes Jeannette Bayardelle (Broadway's The Color Purple) as "Ms. Meyers/Journalist/ Officer Sitz," Eean Cochran (Mamma Mia! national tour) as "Parker," Joseph Dellger (Broadway's Ragtime) as "Grandpa George/Mr. Blumen/Señor O'Brien," Jessie Hooker (Legally Blonde national tour) as "Savannah," David Jennings (Broadway's Once Upon a Mattress with Sarah Jessica Parker) as "Mike," Storm Lever (Off-Broadway's The Wringer) as "Teen Ensemble," Mary Jo McConnell (Beauty and the Beast national tour) as "Grandma Helene/Mrs. Luckenbill/Mrs. Time," Jake Heston Miller (Arena Stage's Oliver!) as "Fletcher," Tony Neidenbach (Anything Goes national tour) as "Teen Ensemble," Jennafer Newberry (Off-Broadway's Brother, Can You Spare a Dime) as "Gretchen," Chris Ramirez (Off-Broadway's Icon) as "Adam," Julian Ramos (Carnegie Hall's West Side Story) as "Wells/ Photographer," Alet Taylor (The Producers national tour) as "Torrey," Jason SweetTooth Williams (Off-Broadway's Once Upon a Mattress opposite Jackie Hoffman) as "Pastor Bruno/ Dr. Ehrin/Officer Kowalski," Sumi Yu (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at Bucks County Playhouse) as "Hannah," along with swings Katie Banville (Cygnet Theatre's Gypsy) and Jermaine R. Rembert (Playhouse's Memphis).

A television writer, producer and playwright, Bridget Carpenter created the event series 11.22.63 for Bad Robot based on Stephen King's bestselling novel, which debuted on Hulu February 15, 2016. Prior to 11.22.63, she wrote and co-executive produced all five seasons of the Emmy-nominated and Peabody Award-winning series Friday Night Lights. She also was a co-executive producer on Parenthood, and most recently, was executive producer/showrunner of Sundance Channel's drama series The Red Road. Carpenter's plays have been produced by Steppenwolf Theatre, The Public Theater, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and many other theaters across the country. She has written several songs for film, including "Basmati Blues" and "Dear Dumb Diary." Carpenter received a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Princess Grace Award, the Kesselring Prize and the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. She also received Emmy and WGA nominations for "Friday Night Lights." Her plays Fall, Up and The Faculty Room have been published by Samuel French.

Tom Kitt received the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama as well as two Tony Awards for Best Score and Best Orchestrations for Next to Normal. His music for Next to Normal also received the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding New Score. He is the composer of If/Then (Tony Award nomination, Outer Critics Circle Award nomination); High Fidelity (Broadway), Bring It On, The Musical (co-composer with Lin-Manuel Miranda; Broadway), The Winter's Tale, All's Well That Ends Well and Cymbeline (The Public's NYSF); From Up Here and The Madrid (MTC); Orphans (Broadway) and The Retributionists (Playwrights Horizons). Kitt is also responsible for the music supervision, arrangements and orchestrations for Green Day's American Idiot on Broadway, and provided additional arrangements for their Grammy Award-winning album 21st Century Breakdown and their album trilogy, ¡Uno! ¡Dos! ¡Tré!. He received an Emmy Award as co-writer (with Lin-Manuel Miranda) for the 2013 Tony Award opening number, Bigger. As a musical director, conductor, arranger and orchestrator, his credits include Pitch Perfect, Pitch Perfect 2, 2Cellos featuring Lang Lang (Live and Let Die), The Kennedy Center Honors, 13, Debbie Does Dallas, Everyday Rapture, Hair, Laugh Whore, Pippin (Deaf West) and These Paper Bullets!. Upcoming musical projects include Grease Live!, SpongeBob Squarepants, The Musical, Dave, Magic Mike, The Visitor and Jagged Little Pill.

Brian Yorkey received the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, as well as the 2009 Tony Award for Best Score, for Next to Normal. He was also nominated for the Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical for Next to Normal, and his work on the show earned him the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Score. He partnered again with the Next to Normal team on If/Then (Tony Award nominee for Best Score), starring Idina Menzel. Brian co-wrote the libretto for The Last Ship (Outer Critics nomination, with John Logan), with a score by Sting. He is currently working on the original musical Jesus in My Bedroom, with composer Tim Symons, as well as stage musical adaptations of Magic Mike and the Tom McCarthy film The Visitor. He is also adapting Jay Asher's bestselling novel 13 Reasons Why for Netflix, Paramount Television and Anonymous Content. Film projects in active development include Chase for Anonymous Content and Rosenzweig Films, Time After Time for Universal, and Score! for Team Downey and Warner Bros. Additional theatre credits include Making Tracks, which has played off-Broadway and regionally, the musical adaptation of Ang Lee's The Wedding Banquet, and the play Book of Jobs with Alex Glover. Brian has directed off-Broadway and regionally and for seven years was associate artistic director at Village Theatre in Washington state, one of the nation's leading producers of new musicals. He's a graduate of Columbia University, where he was artistic director of the Varsity Show, an alum of the BMI/Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop and a proud member of the Dramatists Guild and the WGA.

Christopher Ashley has served as La Jolla Playhouse's Artistic Director since October, 2007. During his tenure, he has helmed The Playhouse's productions of Hollywood, Come From Away, Chasing the Song, His Girl Friday, Glengarry Glen Ross, A Dram of Drummhicit, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Restoration and the acclaimed musicals Xanadu and Memphis, which won four 2010 Tony Awards including Best Musical. He also spearheaded The Playhouse's Without Walls (WoW) series and the Resident Theatre program. Prior to joining The Playhouse, he directed the Broadway productions of Xanadu (Drama Desk nomination), All Shook Up and The Rocky Horror Show (Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Award nominations), as well as the Kennedy Center Sondheim Celebration productions of Sweeney Todd and Merrily We Roll Along. Other New York credits include: Blown Sideways Through Life, Jeffrey (Lucille Lortel and Obie Awards), The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told, Valhalla, Regrets Only, Wonder of the World, Communicating Doors, Bunny Bunny, The Night Hank Williams Died and Fires in the Mirror (Lucille Lortel Award), among others. Mr. Ashley also directed the feature films Jeffrey and Lucky Stiff, as well as the American Playhouse production of Blown Sideways Through Life for PBS. Mr. Ashley is the recipient of the Princess Grace Award, the Drama League Director Fellowship and an NEA/TCG Director Fellowship.

Sergio Trujillo's La Jolla Playhouse credits include Chasing the Song, Memphis, Zhivago, The Wiz, Jersey Boys, Chasing the Song. On Broadway, he has choreographed A Bronx Tale, On Your Feet (Tony Award nominee, Outer Critics Circle/Astaire Award), Best Musical Tony Award Winner Memphis, (Olivier/OCC Award, Drama Desk/Astaire Award nominations), the Tony/Olivier Award-winning Jersey Boys (OCC/Greenroom/Dora Awards, Drama Desk nomination), Addams Family, Next to Normal, Hands on a Hardbody (Drama Desk nomination), Leap of Faith, Guys and Dolls (Astaire Awards nomination), All Shook Up. Other theatre credits include: Freaky Friday (Signature Theatre), Invisible Thread (Second Stage), Flashdance (National Tour). International: Tarzan (Disney), Peggy Sue Got Married (West End), The Sound of Music and West Side Story (Stratford Festival). Upcoming: Arrabal (ART), The Donna Summer Project (La Jolla Playhouse), The Detroit Project (Berkeley Repertory Theatre).

The Tony Award-winning La Jolla Playhouse is internationally-renowned for creating some of the most exciting and adventurous work in American theatre, through its new play development initiatives, its innovative Without Walls series, artist residencies and commissions. Currently led by Artistic Director Christopher Ashley and Managing Director Michael S. Rosenberg, The Playhouse was founded in 1947 by Gregory Peck, Dorothy McGuire and Mel Ferrer, and reborn in 1983 under the artistic leadership of Des McAnuff. La Jolla Playhouse has had 25 productions transfer to Broadway, garnering 35 Tony Awards, among them Jersey Boys, Memphis, The Who's Tommy, Big River, as well as Billy Crystal's 700 Sundays and the Pulitzer Prize-winning I Am My Own Wife, both fostered as part of The Playhouse's Page To Stage Program. Visit LaJollaPlayhouse.org.


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