MTI Acquires the Rights to New Musical Version of Freaky Friday

MTI Acquires the Rights to New Musical Version of Freaky Friday

Freaky Friday, the new musical comedy based on the celebrated novel by Mary Rodgers and hit Disney films, will be released into the world of stage musical licensing following its world premiere at Signature Theatre in Arlington, VA this fall. The new musical, developed by Disney Theatrical Productions expressly for licensing to theatres, features a book by Bridget Carpenter, music by Tom Kitt and lyrics by Brian Yorkey. Theatrical licensor Music Theatre International has secured worldwide licensing rights for the show.

When an overworked mother and her teenage daughter magically swap bodies, they have just one day to put things right again before mom’s big wedding. Freaky Friday, a new musical comedy based on the celebrated novel by Mary Rodgers and hit Disney films, is a hilarious, contemporary update of an American classic in which a mother and daughter really see what it is to be a family and experience first-hand each other’s lives, if only for a day.

Set in the present day, Freaky Friday features a tuneful pop-rock score, befitting a work that has effortlessly updated throughout its several iterations.  The novel (1972), the first film starring Barbara Harris and Jodie Foster (1976), the second film starring Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan (2003) and this new stage musical are all set in their respective present day.

The writing team comprises some of the most sought-after artists working in musical theatre and a major voice new to the medium.  Playwright Bridget Carpenter writes her first musical book, having served as co-executive producer and writer on two recent beloved TV hits, “Friday Night Lights” and “Parenthood,” and currently as executive producer and showrunner of Hulu’s highly-anticipated event series “11.22.63,” based on the Stephen King best-selling novel. Tom Kitt (Bring It On, High Fidelity) and Brian Yorkey (The Wedding Banquet, Play It By Heart) won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and a Tony Award® for their ground-breaking Next to Normal and most recently created the celebrated musical If/Then

"We are thrilled to represent this new musical based on the timeless story that multiple generations have enjoyed anew," stated Drew Cohen, President of Music Theatre International. "For 40 years Freaky Friday has been entertaining audiences in its various forms. The MTI team has been eagerly following the progress of this musical with Disney Theatrical and is very excited to offer the performance rights to professional, and eventually amateur theatres.  We are delighted to add Freaky Friday to our catalogue alongside the Kitt and Yorkey hits Next to Normal and If/Then.”

Freaky Friday’s first production, directed by Christopher Ashley with choreography by Sergio Trujillo, will be presented by Signature Theatre in Arlington, VA October 4 through November 13, 2016. Ashley is a two-time Tony nominee (Rocky Horror Show and Memphis) and artistic director of the world-renowned La Jolla Playhouse. Trujillo, one of Broadway’s busiest choreographers, is best known for the 10-year smash Jersey Boys and his newest hit On Your Feet.  

“Mary Rodgers single-handedly invented the body-switch genre with her remarkable book, Freaky Friday, more than 40 years ago and now this team of theatre artists, working at the top of their game, have brought it to rich theatrical life onstage,” said Thomas Schumacher, president and producer of Disney Theatrical Group.  “Having developed the title here at Disney Theatrical, we can’t wait to now share Freaky Friday with Signature’s audiences and then to release the title for licensing so theatres worldwide can realize their own take on this funny, touching musical.”

The title was developed by Disney Theatrical to be licensed via partner MTI, first to professional and then amateur theatres. It follows the trajectory of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, which is now available to professional theatres worldwide following acclaimed engagements at La Jolla Playhouse and Paper Mill Playhouse.