Gen X, growing up, houston, old pop culture references, theatre, tween, tweens

Freaky Friday: New, Improved, and LIVE

My oldest daughter is not yet a teenager, but I can see the current tween version of her teetering towards her future teenage self. She is becoming fluent in sarcasm and subversion. Occasionally she has accused me of “not understanding” her. Her scowl is well-practiced. But she’s a good kid. Aims to please, has good grades, good friends, good intentions.

My first born daughter is definitely not a problem child. But neither was I. You don’t have to be a problem child to feel angsty and underappreciated.

I remember the frustration of being misunderstood and feeling unseen when I was a teenager. I wasn’t quick to take time to understand my mom’s life, either. Distance makes our roles clearer to me now. Teenagers rarely can step far enough back to see the progression of how life actually works; I was no exception.

On days when adulting is especially hard, I still feel like that teenager. I don’t want to be the one in charge, the one who has to make all the decisions. In those moments I miss the simplicity of my pre-adult years.

To be clear, those moments are fleeting. I would never, ever want to return to high school. And I doubt my tween daughter would enjoy my day-to-day responsibilities. We don’t have access to any magic that would cause us to switch places, so it’s not a real worry. But the idea of trading places is always fun, which is why Freaky Friday is still relevant four decades after the book was first published.

Emma Hunton (left) and Heidi Blickenstaff in Disney’s Freaky Friday
(photo by Jim Carmody, courtesy of Alley Theatre)

My family and I were treated to a performance of the new musical version of Freaky Friday courtesy of the Alley Theatre. I am the only one in our family who has seen both the 1976 movie version with Jodie Foster and the 2003 version with Lindsay Lohan, but we all had watched the latter version together a couple years ago. They didn’t remember the movie in detail, but they had a basic idea of the plot.

…I, however, have the movies in some odd file in my brain that is always accessible. I can’t tell you what day of the week it is, but I can tell you about the water ski scene in the original film…

The new musical was inspired by the feature film versions as well as the book. Dare I say the Freaky Friday musical was better than either of the feature film versions? The music was great, the set was smart, the acting was on point. It was a perfect show to see with my daughters.

Yep. My kids were reading the Playbill.

My girls have been watching Liv & Maddie on Netflix for the past few months and this production of Freaky Friday is similar to that in tone and story. Both my 11 year-old and my 7 year-old were attentive and engaged the whole show, which is more of a boon to the show than my parenting. I’m not sure all 7 year-olds would sit through the whole show — it depends on the kid — but I think it helped that one of the actors was closer to her age.

My husband is a not a theatre guy, but he enjoyed the show, too. I’m thankful that we were able to all enjoy this show together. Live theatre is an important experience for kids and adults alike. Don’t miss your chance to catch this show while it’s playing at the Alley Theatre.


Thanks so much to the folks at the Alley Theatre for hosting my family and me for this performance of Freaky Friday. Read more about the show here.

Having a little fun @alleytheatre #alleyfreakyfriday #momlife

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