The Royal Kids Theatre cast and crew are thrilled to present “Freaky Friday: The Musical” at Kids Unlimited Academy.
The show debuts to the general public at 7 p.m. Friday, May 19, in KUA’s Kimmel Performing Arts Center, 821 N. Riverside Ave., Medford. An encore performance is planned for 7 p.m. Saturday, May 20, at the same location. A preview for the entire KUA student body and staff is set for 1:30 p.m. Friday.
“Throughout this process, students have made new friends, built self confidence and stage presence and learned about commitment and hard work,” said KUA music and theater teacher BriAnna Johnson. “I couldn’t be more proud of these young actors, and I can’t wait for you all to see the show!”
KUA’s theater company spent several months learning choreography, music and acting techniques. Many new actors took the stage for this production, said Johnson. Being a part of the theater company gives KUA’s third- through eighth-grade students the opportunity to work together, she said.
“I am so impressed with their ability and willingness to learn about musical theater techniques and the effort they put in at every rehearsal,” said Johnson. “It is wonderful to see the experienced acting students become mentors, sharing their knowledge and skills with new theater students.”
KUA eighth grader Nicole Carrasco plays uber-organized mother Katherine to Ellie, her spontaneous teenage daughter, played by fellow KUA eighth grader Evelyn Sanchez Aviles. Both actors have been involved in Royal Kids Theatre since third grade, said Johnson.
“Their talent, professionalism and commitment to the performing arts is something other students look up to,” said Johnson. “I am so proud of the incredible performers and people they have become.”
After Katherine and Ellie magically swap bodies, they have just one day to put things right. Masquerading as each other, they must work together to solve the mystery of how to break the spell.
By spending a day in each other’s shoes, Katherine and Ellie come to appreciate one another in ways they never could have imagined. In the end, both learn the true power of love and the strength of their mother-daughter bond in this heartfelt and hilarious adaptation.
The stage production is based on the beloved 1972 novel of the same name by Mary Rodgers. Also adapted into hit Disney films, “Freaky Friday” features a book by Bridget Carpenter and music and lyrics by Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey.
“Being in a musical is a challenge,” said Johnson. “It requires students to be a ‘triple threat’ — to be able to act, sing and dance at the same time. I selected ‘Freaky Friday’ to highlight the talent of our students here at KUA, and I am so impressed by the level of work that they are doing!”
Admission costs $8, and tickets can be purchased at KUA’s Medford campus main office or with PayPal at kuaoregon.org/freaky-friday-2023/