News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

“Freaky Friday” touches hearts

A matinee performance Sunday, November 17 concluded the four-performance run of the Sisters High School musical “Freaky Friday,” and by all accounts the show was a great success.

Directed by Rick Johnson, the musical included a large cast made up of Sisters High School’s choir students and included live music from the high school band as well as set design from students in the art program. In all, Johnson estimated nearly 70 students had some hand in the play’s production.

The three evening performances, November 14-16, were well attended, as was Sunday’s matinee, according to Johnson.

“We were pleased with the responses from the audiences for all four performances,” he said. “We had well over 700 people attend in total.”

The musical is based on the movie by the same name and adapted to the stage and set to music by Disney Theatrical Productions, opening for the first time in 2016.

The storyline centers on a widowed mother (Katherine), an over-worked, stressed-out wedding planner, and her teenage daughter (Ellie), who mysteriously and magically swap bodies the day before the mother is to be married in a wedding she happens to be planning for herself.

The swap occurs when a magical hourglass, a gift from Katherine’s husband and Ellie’s father, who passed away, is broken during an argument between Katherine and Ellie. Until the twin to the broken magical hourglass can be found, and the swap undone, the mother and daughter are forced to act like each other, resulting in endless awkwardness and hilarity.

Though classified as a comedy, the musical included many touching scenes, including a lullaby sung by Katherine (Sarah Kissinger) to Fletcher (Lauren Taylor) while she is still “swapped” with her daughter, Ellie (Sasha Stolasz).

“That scene brought tears to my eyes, and to others around me,” said Sisters resident Rhonda Schantz, who attended the play Sunday.

Evan Martinez, a senior at SHS, attended Friday night’s performance and came away impressed as well.

“We have some amazing singers at our school, and the play showed what a great music program we have here,” he said.

“I am incredibly proud of the students for all of their hard work on the play,” said Johnson. “It took a tremendous amount of time, and they had to find ways to balance their school and after-school schedules to be able to share their talents with the community.”

Johnson said, “I chose this show because it has incredible music, comedy and some great tear-jerking songs. As a parent of a six-year-old, many of the songs really attached to my heart. The show is also perfect for a high school for many reasons, including that a lot of students could be involved and teenagers can certainly relate to the themes in the play.”

Speaking to the importance of having a performing arts program, Johnson said, “Students get up and come to school each day for many reasons. Some love math, science, and literature. Some love sports. The musical production and the choir and band programs connect students to the school that sometimes don’t connect in other areas. Through the run of the rehearsals and performances, I saw students from all different backgrounds engaged, working as a team, and giving back to the community with their talent.”

Other leads in the play included Adam (Ian Cash), and Tom (Ashton King). A total of over 40 students appeared on stage during the course of the play, according to Johnson.

Johnson had many people to thank for their support, but particularly felt deep gratitude for Lonnie Liddell of Sisters Dance Academy, who choreographed all the dances for the entire musical voluntarily.

“Lonnie’s choreography is brilliant,” said Johnson. “I can’t thank her enough.”

The next musical at Sisters High is planned for the fall of 2021.


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