Westerville South High School will feature the central Ohio premiere of the musical "Freaky Friday" this weekend.
The new musical, based on the 1972 novel by Mary Rodgers and the Disney films, features a book by Bridget Carpenter -- the co-executive producer and writer on the TV shows, "Friday Night Lights" and "Parenthood." It also has music and lyrics by Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey, the Pulitzer Prize-winning composers of "Next to Normal" and "If/Then."
Show dates and times are 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11, and Saturday, Oct. 12, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 13, at the high school, 303 S. Otterbein Ave.
Director Matthew Wolfe said "Freaky Friday" follows the story of Ellie Blake and her mother, Katherine, as they learn what it is to walk a mile in one another's shoes for a day.
As a result of that experience, he said, they come to appreciate one another's struggles, learn self-acceptance and realize the love and mutual respect that bond a mother and daughter.
With a cast of 28 students, a crew of 30 and a small combo orchestra made up of local musicians, the two-hour musical (with intermission) will have audiences laughing and loving these characters, Wolfe said.
Emma Murphy, who plays Katherine Blake, said the music is wonderful, and the cast members have incredibly strong voices.
"'Freaky Friday' takes us through a day in the life of a mother and daughter who, after a series of events, end up in the other's body," she said. "They have to figure out how to make it out the other end without ruining their lives. The stakes are raised even more because the very next day (there) is a huge wedding."
Though audiences think they know the plot, Murphy said, this musical adaptation takes on a whole new light.
"Because it is also the regional premiere, nobody has seen this adaptation on stage," she said. "Come prepared to be blown away."
Sophia Shai, who takes on the role of Ellie Blake, said the show is about a mom and daughter really trying to understand each other and learn that one person's life isn't harder than the other's and they have to be there for each other instead of trying to "fix" each other.
"This whole show is about family and coming together," said Georgia Santino, who plays Savannah.
"It will be nice for families to come together and watch it as a family."
Josiah Holloway, who plays Adam, said audiences should expect a good laugh, but also an educational and eye-opening story.
"It has good lessons on relationships between parents and children, and also is a fun show for everyone," said Curtis Wyglendowski, who plays Mike.
Wolfe said he chose "Freaky Friday" because he wanted to do something new and fun.
"We are rebuilding this year and have some tremendous talent," he said. "I wanted to showcase these young actors playing roles that they understand -- teens!
"Under the technical direction of Derrick McPeak, we are given a set that will be as fluid as the musical. It almost never stops with music leading one scene to the next," Wolfe said.
He also said music directors Luke Furniss and Tyler Domer have done a wonderful job with the orchestra and actors, and the choreography by Nicole Sterling is fresh and exciting.
"We really want to fill the theater with our community and share this great musical with its positive, uplifting message," he said.
Tickets cost $10 and will be sold at the door.