Heidi Blickenstaff can tell you about her role in Signature Theatre’s new musical — it just takes a few sentences.
“I’m Heidi the actress playing Katherine the character in Ellie’s body, who is Emma [Hunton], the actress,” says Blickenstaff, whose Broadway credits include “The Little Mermaid” and “Something Rotten!” “But also, my character is trying to fake everybody out. So as Ellie, I’m trying to make everybody think I’m Katherine. It’ll make your head hurt if you think about it too long.”
In “Freaky Friday,” a world-premiere musical developed by Disney Theatrical Productions, Blickenstaff plays — at different times — both the mother and the daughter who switch bodies through a poorly timed bit of magic. The show, which opened Tuesday, is preceded by Mary Rodgers’ 1972 novel, a 1976 movie starring Jodie Foster and a 2003 remake starring Lindsay Lohan. This version, written by Bridget Carpenter (TV’s “Friday Night Lights,” “Parenthood”) with music by composer Tom Kitt and lyricist Brian Yorkey (“Next to Normal”), takes different elements from each of these. One thing Carpenter made sure to keep from Rodgers’ novel is its opening line: “So you’re never going to believe me.”