Grand County High School is producing “Freaky Friday,” a story made famous by the iconic 2003 movie starring Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan, but with a twist: the high school’s version is a musical.
The story follows a therapist mother and aspiring rock-musician daughter who wake up one morning to discover that they switched bodies, and are unable to switch back.
Maralee Francis, the drama department director at the high school, said she picked the musical because she saw it produced at the Hale Centre Theater near Salt Lake City a few years ago.
“It was just so fun,” she said. “It’s just such an upbeat, fun, joyful show for the kids, and I thought it would be fun for them to just sing and dance and just be happy.”
Last year, the drama department couldn’t produce a musical because they couldn’t have any audiences—it’s too expensive to produce a show without ticket revenue, Francis said.
Auditions for the musical opened in late August. Francis said there are students who audition every year, but there are always new students who audition too. Plus, students who wanted to audition last year but couldn’t, since the shows were cancelled, showed up this year. The shows are open to everyone—Francis wants all the students to be able to have that experience.
Freaky Friday is a well-known storyline, but the musical isn’t, which was a challenge for some of the students to have to learn all new songs.
“Everything in the show has been brand new to learn,” Francis said. “The students had to work really hard.”
Since casting, the students and the staff at the drama department have been working non-stop to learn choreography and lines and to build the set. This week is “technical week,” the week prior to opening night, also called “hell week.”
Despite the show’s challenges, the students this year are incredibly talented, Francis said. She views each role in the musical as important as the lead—it’s just as important for a student to be in the chorus numbers as it is for a student to sing a solo, she said. She allows students to be in as many numbers as they wish, which involves a lot of costume changes.
“It’s more fun if they’re just singing and dancing the whole time,” she said. “It’s harder work for them and for us, but it’s still worth it because it’s just more fun.”
Opening night is on Thursday, Nov. 18 at 7 p.m. at the Grand County High School Auditorium (608 S. 400 East). There will also be showings on Friday, Nov. 19 and Saturday, Nov. 20.
What: Freaky Friday: A New Musical
When: Thursday, Nov. 18; Friday, Nov. 19 and Saturday, Nov. 20 at 7 p.m.
Where: Grand County High School Auditorium (608 S. 400 East)
Tickets: $8 for adults; $5 for students and senior citizens