- Jackson Tiengtum
Tesoro Theater Presents: Freaky Friday
*Photo courtesy of @jessemadisonphotography
Heartwarming, honest, humorous. Not exactly words one might expect from a play titled Freaky Friday, but watch the comedic musical and you’ll find just how fitting they are. Based on the novel by Mary Rodgers, the play follows the main characters Kathrine (Natalia Vassilian), an overworked single mother, and Ellie (Lauren Rigby), her teenage daughter. They, along with the rest of the cast, recount the chaotic and hilarious events that ensue after a mysterious hourglass causes Kathrine and Ellie to switch bodies.
Kathrine must navigate all the challenges of a teenager in high school, while Ellie finds a way through running a household and managing a stressful job. Before they eventually find a way to switch back, both Ellie and Kathrine find a greater appreciation and understanding for the struggles in each other's lives.
With only a few weeks to learn the play, the performers and pit orchestra have been hard at work to perfect their acts to award-winning Tesoro standards. Under the musical guidance of Mr. Magana, Mr. Hancock’s vocal instruction, and Ms. Despalmes’s overall direction, Titan students have another strong Cappie award contender off the back of last year's Legally Blonde.
As a professional-level play, Freaky Friday has a demanding collection of songs, choreography, and acting. Performers have put countless hours into their work, even up to five hours per day of after school rehearsals in the past few weeks. Their effort pays off. Tesoro plays and musicals win major Cappies every year.
What makes a musical different from other plays is the presence of a live pit orchestra. Look closely, and you can see Mr. Magana conducts a live student performance; the perfection of the sound makes it hard to tell that it’s not a recording. He says the “highest compliment is when the audience doesn’t realize there are student musicians playing the music” right behind the stage. In the last 10 years, Tesoro Pit Orchestra has won “best pit orchestra” five times.
In addition to powerful performances and masterful music, stage and set design plays an integral role in the success and fluidity of the play. Colorful sets and dedicated stagehands create a convincing atmosphere for the events of the play. Smooth transitions create a truly seamless experience for the audience.
For the next two weeks, performances of Freaky Friday arrive at the Tesoro theater Thursday through Saturday. Tickets are purchasable online or in front of the theater, regular tickets are $18 for students and $20 for adults. The runtime is approximately 2 hours with a 10 minute intermission.