Makeup is applied to a cast member just prior to a full dress rehearsal for Freaky Friday.
by Dave Warner
Things are going to get a little weird at the Little Falls High School Friday and Saturday, August 2nd and 3rd at 7:30 pm. The Mohawk Valley Center for the Arts Community Theater is putting on a performance of ‘Freaky Friday’.
Freaky Friday is a musical with music and lyrics by Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey, and a book by Bridget Carpenter. It is based on the 1972 book of the same name by Mary Rodgers and its 1976 and 2003 film adaptations. In the story, when an overworked mother and her teenage daughter magically swap bodies, they have just one day to put things right again before the mom’s wedding.
According to Director Jean Smith, “I’ve been doing drama here since late 1978 when I was in high school. When I graduated, I did community theater, and I did school productions, so I’ve been doing production in Little Falls almost every year since then.”
Smith retired from Benton Hall Academy and decided to do theater because “The kids just begged me to do it. These kids live for it and I really, really like it because it gives people who may not shine in other areas a chance to build their confidence and perform.”
This is Smith’s third year putting a production on for the Mohawk Valley Center for the Arts. “With community theater, the big thing is that I get people who really want to do it. People who are older, who are not getting the opportunity to use their talents. The people that I have are just wonderful.”
The set, costume and stage personnel all work for free. “I have trouble getting musicians, so I have to pay them,” she said. “So you have people who are really dedicated to these types of productions.”
Smith says that they are very lucky that the school lets them use the facilities for their productions. “We can’t do it for the next two years though because of the capital project that is going to be going on.”
The cast has been rehearsing every weeknight for the last eight weeks in order to be ready for the production. “There have been three movies made about this. It’s a mother and a daughter who are fighting and they are holding this magic hourglass and they swap bodies. So it’s tricky acting for the two leads because a 40-year-old woman has to act like a 15-year-old girl. There’s real acting involved.”
The Disney version of Freaky Friday has great music, and “the music is very modern and topical,” according to Smith.
“I worry about attendance for this one, but I don’t worry. The problem is you have a 1,000 seat auditorium, which is very daunting. So even if you get 300 people in there, which I would be happy with, they could be spread out. So, we’re going to tape off the back sections,” she said.
Smith doesn’t want to perform anywhere else because she loves the magnificent stage at the high school. “The high school drama club lets us use their props and costumes as well, so it’s very nice of them.”
“The show is very funny, it’s got a lot of music and we have great singers,” she said.
This week has been ‘tech’ week for them, but the show is ready to go. “I have utter confidence in every one of my actors. So now, we introduce the pit band, the lights, spotlights, and microphones,” stated Smith.
For all the work that her performers and crew accomplish, she said, “It’s amazing what they do.”
Tickets are on sale at the Mohawk Valley Center for the Arts, or at the door. Tickets are $10 for adults and $9 for students and seniors.