Stories » I think I might be in love. Freaky Friday, a new musical / Houston Chronicle

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I think I might be in love. Freaky Friday, a new musical / Houston Chronicle

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I think I might be in love. It feels strange to even express it, because it's with a show that has the worst title in the world: "Freaky Friday: A New Musical."

For me that recalls the body-switching 2003 film with Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan, while for others it's the 1976 version with Barbara Harris and Jodie Foster. Each of them was built around the formula of a mother and daughter switching bodies, and lives. Wouldn't putting that adorable but long-forgotten story to song just make it cheesier? The words "Freaky Friday" should elicit no more than a tepid feeling of curiosity, better than what most live-action Disney movies deserve anyway. Yet the musical has an added spunk and flourish that makes it the best incarnation so far.

Make no mistake, watching this new musical reminded me of seeing movies like "Mean Girls," "Easy A" and "Pitch Perfect" for the first time, which is to say it was like witnessing a supposedly unassuming middlebrow comedy that's destined, against all odds, to become a phenomenon.

At the Alley Theatre through July 2, "Freaky Friday" captivates from its first song, "Just One Day." Its earworm melody and singalong lyrics hide its brilliant narrative efficacy, since it both illustrates the characters' dueling, yet parallel, frustrations and foreshadows a "be careful what you wish for" plot.

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