Freaky Friday definitely freaked WEGO’s Friday


Senior Ellie Hurley and sophomore Sentia Irakoze embrace at the end of the musical. (Photo courtesy of Mark Begovich)

By Miley Pegg, Senior Reporter



The lights. The orchestra. The stage. As actors walk out onto the stage with an echoing applause, the scene is set, the musical commences. The performances the actors have spent months preparing for have finally arrived. 

On the nights of April 27, 28, and the 29, WeGo Drama performed its spring musical, “Freaky Friday”, directed by English teacher Mark Begovich, at West Chicago Community High School. 

Freaky Friday,” the movie, originally produced in 2003, centers around a “freak occasion” in which Anna (Lindsay Lohan) switches bodies with her mother, Tess (Jamie Lee Curtis). Though both stories were written by Disney, in the musical performed last week, the name “Anna” was replaced by “Ellie” (Sentia Irazoke), and “Tess” was replaced by “Katherine” (Ellie Hurley). This musical also consisted of live music from the orchestra, conducted by Brandon Fantozzi. 

Irakoze and Hurley fight over differences in opinion and an hourglass. (Photo courtesy of Mark Begovich)

The general set-up for the play is that Ellie hates her mom and switches bodies with her. The night of Katherine’s rehearsal dinner is also the same night as some game called “The Hunt”, which Adam, Ellie’s crush, is hosting. “The Hunt” is a team scavenger hunt on the night of nights. The mother/daughter pair continuously fight back and forth while holding an hourglass that Ellie’s dad gifted to her before he passed away three years prior. Once the hourglass is shattered in half, the two switch bodies and are forced to live out each other’s lives.

West Chicago’s drama program has put on many spring musicals that fit the cast appropriately and showcased the actors talent. However, this year the musical did not flow with the actors, “Freaky Friday” was the freakiest Friday in WeGo’s history.

Several roles did not suit the actors’ voice appropriately. Watching the musical reminded this reviewer of the pair of jeans that one has had since middle school – jeans that one wants to fit, but they just don’t. Some of the performers truly have a brilliant ability to act and pursue any role perfectly, but musicals may not be their strong suit. Others tended to sing very mezzo piano in sheet music terms – not sure if that was intentional though.

The characters in this version of “Freaky Friday” may have been caricatures. Ellie’s love interest, Adam (Alex Bradley) had strange stage cues and reminded the audience of the character Kristoff from Disney’s “Frozen”

The numbers were definitely musical. The tune of “I Got This” is carried throughout the show to set a tone of trust in both Tess and Ellie. In Act 1, the “Oh, Biology” number was intimate – more so than the “Vows” number, keep in mind that. “Oh, Biology” was performed during a frog dissection in which Ellie and Adam were paired up to work together. The audience watches Katherine’s brain (Ellie’s body) struggle to cope with teenage hormones in a way that is relatable.

The choreography was poorly executed, there were no strong dancers apart of the cast. During “Busted”, singers were quiet: either their microphones were not on, or they just sang softly.

Act 2 was another whole interesting story, that is to say the least.

The cast, crew, and orchestra behind “Freaky Friday” (Photo courtesy of Mark Begovich)

When the hunt is taking place, “Go” is performed by Bradley while riding a hoverboard around the stage, meant to represent the streets of Chicago. This scene was probably the highlight of the three-hour show. Prior to this moment, Ellie’s little brother, Fletcher (Luca Fantozzi) goes missing after she – while in her mother’s body – sings to him that “Parents Lie.”

Adam later finds Fletcher at a bus stop before “The Hunt” officially takes place, and he sings a song titled “Women and Sandwiches”, which honestly might have hurt his back because that tune carried the whole production. 

The side characters/ensemble, including Gretchen (Ja’Nyah Villa) and Hannah (Avery Moffat), Ellie’s best friends who continuously offer Ellie advice about her mom, also moved the story along. As Ellie’s partners in “The Hunt”, they push her to convince her mom to let her compete, and spoiler alert: they win an hourglass – one Katherine previously discarded.

The ensemble consisted of eighteen people, some of whom had individual roles as well. This displayed outstanding commitment to the drama, especially for Carolyn Fleming, who played Katherine’s mother, Helene, and fellow reporter Karidja Mojolo, who played Officer Sitz, as well as participating as a part of the ensemble.