Disney's Freaky Friday Premieres Thursday, April 26th at 7pm
Kendra Smith ‘20
18 April 2018
Passaic Valley High School is honored and excited to be a part of the Disney Theatrical Licensing Pilot Program! The Pilot Program chooses a select group of schools throughout the country to mount a production of a Disney musical before it is released to general licensing. We are thrilled to be one of the first schools nationwide to produce the brand new musical version of Disney’s modern fairy tale, FREAKY FRIDAY!
With a new book by Bridget Carpenter (Parenthood, Friday Night Lights) and an original pop/rock score by Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winners Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey (Next to Normal, If/Then), Freaky Friday delivers a contemporary musical comedy with sharp wit, rousing tunes and a deeply emotional core.
With opening night quickly approaching, the cast of Disney’s Freaky Friday is getting ready for an exciting, comedic spring performance. PV is one of only five schools selected by Disney to perform the musical. For more information and tickets, visit pvstheater.com. Opening night is Thursday, April 26th at 7 pm. Additional shows are scheduled for 7 pm Friday, April 27th and 2 pm and 7 pm on Saturday, April 28th.
Ms. Jennifer Shue, Director and Producer of the spring musical, does theater workshops in the summer in New York. This past summer, Disney hosted one of those workshops. She made contact with Disney to see if there were any plays that PV could perform. In November, Disney contacted Shue to see if PV would be interested in doing Freaky Friday.
Annie Challice ‘18 and Gabriella Volonnino ‘19 were selected as the leads for this classic mother-daughter-swap story. Challice plays Katherine Blake, who is the mother of Ellie Blake, played by Volonnino. They are both excited to be able to play two roles in one, for which they won the award for Best Actress in a Musical at the Bucks County Playhouse festival.
One of the most impressive and ambitious elements of the production is the set. Freaky Friday is to be performed on a rotational set, which adds a bit of difficulty. Ms. Shue said that the set is “phenomenal” and that it gives the play “another character".
Shue also commended Stage Manager Eden O’Connor ‘18 for her work on the complex dynamics of the set. As stage manager, O’Connor is in charge of props and sets looking realistic. She’s excited for her last show with her classmates who she has “been with all the way.”
In addition, Freaky Friday features several actors and actresses making their PV Theatre debut. There are students who have never been in a school play before such as Aaron Nieves ‘18 as Adam, Trinity Hines '18 as Savannah, and Rachel Irizarry '20 as Mrs. Luckenbill. The cast also features two 8th graders, Gabby Cielo and Cristopher Perez as Hannah and Louie Snaps/Senor O'Brien respectively. O’Connor, along with many other cast members, believe that the new members have been doing great and have caught on quickly.
The play will be performed April 26, 27, and 28 all at 7pm. There will be a 2pm show on April 28th. Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for students and seniors. To pick out your seat ahead of time, you can preorder at pvstheater.com but tickets will be sold at the door as well.