LOGAN — The Lyric Repertory Company pulled another one out of the park Friday night.
Their production of the Disney musical terrible friday was fresh and fun, with upbeat music and great performances from a sizable cast.
One of the reasons Freaky Friday was such a treat to watch is that it doesn’t feel like a Disney musical. Based on a 1970s novel by Mary Rogers and three (count them!) straight-up comedy live-action movies, it’s the only Disney musical that didn’t have a cartoon soundtrack on which to lean on.
Instead, the folks at Disney tapped veteran Broadway songwriters Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey, who had just won the Pulitzer Prize for their musical drama. next to normalon mental illness in American suburbs.
It just sounds like a recipe for disaster. But Kitt and Yorkey’s vision for terrible friday worked like a charm in this staging directed by Jason Spelbring
The rating of terrible friday is written for two female leads who can really sing their tunes. Grace Garner and Lacy J. Dunn are all that and more.
As Ellie, Mrs. Garner is the typical teenage brat who knows everything about rebelling against Mrs. Dunn as the perfect obsessive-compulsive single mother.
But the fun really begins when they magically switch souls.
It’s easy for Ms. Garner to act mature in a convincing way. But Mrs. Dunn is beyond amazing when she goes completely insane as a teenager trapped in an adult body. It’s a hilariously hilarious performance.
I’ve seen Mrs. Dunn in comedies before, but not physical the comedy. But she rocks him. All the weird teenage mannerisms and ticks are there and Ms. Dunn plays them to the fullest.
The rest of the cast is just there for the ride, but no one’s ‘phoneing’ them in Terrible Friday.
Christopher Klinger is Mrs. Dunn’s long-suffering husband-to-be, if he survives the ups and downs before marriage. He hums wedding vows in a rusty baritone, wondering what’s going on.
Torrey, who is Ms Dunn’s partner in a wedding planning business, is also mystified by her former boss’ changes. Torrey is played to perfection by McKenna Walwyn.
Lyrical veteran Kelly McGaw is back and all over the stage in a slew of roles. I had forgotten how much I love that tall glass of water and his megawatt smile that lights up the place. She plays Danielle, a magazine editor; Mrs. Meyers, an inveterate gym teacher; and a dodgy cop.
Mia Gatherum and Keaolani Hosino are Hannah and Gretchen, the young members of Ellie’s band at school. They are bubbly and enthusiastic.
Newcomer Kat Lee is Savannah, Ellie’s obligatory apex predator at school, a quintessentially teenage nightmare on wheels.
Rounding out the main characters, Preston Rowland plays Adam, the high school heartthrob; and pint-sized Soren Pedersen as Ellie’s brother, Fletcher, who lets the hand puppets do most of his talking.
While these guys are definitely on the back of Ms. Garner and Ms. Dunn on this show, their performances were endearing nonetheless.
Other cast members are Blake Brundy, Kaito Davis, Mitzi Mecham, Caroline Flores Parada, Timo Rasmussen, and Daniel Webb.
Kudos to Joshua Legate for the imaginative projection designs of Terrible Friday.
Representations of terrible friday are scheduled for July 1, 6, 15, 21, and 30 at the Morgan Theater at the Chase Fine Arts Center on the campus of Utah State University.