Devonport Choral Society deliver with new musical Freaky Friday.
It would be easy, maybe even prudent, to produce a family favourite crowd pleaser in the current times. Bums on seats, audiences humming along and all that. DCS and Director, Maree Brodzinski, are to be congratulated on taking a risk with the unfamiliar Freaky Friday. The buzzing atmosphere and spontaneous applause amongst the crowd on Thursday night suggests the Company will be rewarded with the audience they deserve when word of mouth gets around.
The show is based on the various cinematic iterations of the same name. The basic premise of the mother/daughter magical body swap facilitates the ensuing tale of generation gaps, walking in someone else’s shoes, losing loved ones, finding others and the value of family. I laughed (a lot) and came close to tears (a little) which is how I like my theatrical experiences.
I have some reservations about a couple of the musical numbers having a saminess about them and some potentially questionable lyrics. However, most of the songs are cleverly constructed to further plot or character development and are highly entertaining. Likewise the cast were not immune to the occasional vocal or physical stumble and a couple of the character accents were…interesting. These are minor quibbles but it would be disingenuous of me to omit them.
What was delightful to see was the commitment, focus and generosity of an ensemble ranging from the very young (Zeb Peters, making an impressive debut) to the more seasoned performers (names withheld at the request of the actors!) They are superbly led by Alana Lane and Natalie Gaffney playing mother and daughter (Katherine and Ellie Blake). Triple threats doubled! They own the stage, both equally adept in the comic and dramatic moments, beautiful voices and impressive physical actors. They immediately established character and then swiftly presented a believable and sustained transformation…bravo. Billy Hawkins (Mike), Elizabeth Sly (Torrey), Campbell Mayberry (Adam) and Elizabeth Jolly (Savannah) are all terrific in supporting roles.
Brodzinski’s direction is clear and guides the audience’s focus throughout. The choreography by Dana Sallese, ably supported by daughter, Gabriella, is an entertaining blend of funky and funny. Set design (Jennifer Slater and Belinda Gunston) is deceptively simple but highly effective, allowing for smooth scene changes and conveying time and place. An obviously experienced and talented band delivers a near flawless performance under the direction of Petrina Jahnz.
Get your freak on and support this fabulous crew.
As part of our season of FREAKY FRIDAY, we would like to offer to our community a “relaxed performance” on Saturday 20 May at 1.30pm.
A “relaxed performance” is a type of live performance that is specifically designed to create a more relaxed and inclusive atmosphere for people who may find traditional performances challenging or overwhelming. This can include individuals with disabilities, neurodivergent individuals, those with sensory sensitivities, young children, or anyone who may benefit from a more flexible and accommodating environment.
What can you expect at the Freaky Friday relaxed performance?:
* House lights will be left on and dimmed during performance
* A pre-show talk about what to expect during the performance
* Sound levels will be lowered, and any sudden loud noises, flashing lights or other potentially distressing effects will be minimized or eliminated altogether
* Audiences are free to move around, make noise, and leave and re-enter the performance as needed
* Auslan Interpreters (Deaf Connect Interpreting Service)
* Hearing loop installed with headsets
* Space for service animals
* Visual and communication resources such as communication boards and visual stories
* Resources to increase comfort such as booster seats for the theatre
* A chill out area
* Additional Front of House staff to assist you
Book your tickets online here: https://www.paranapleartscentre.com.au/events/freaky-friday/visit the Box Office at 145 Rooke Street or call 6420 2900
Thank you to Primary Health Tasmania, Town Hall Theatre – paranaple arts centre – Devonport, Devonport Sensory Hub and the Princess Theatre for assisting us with this performance.
Devonport Choral Society is seeking Expressions of Interest from Directors who would like to work with us in our 2024 season.
If you have a project it mind (it must be a musical), please send us some information about your proposed show.
Applications for this round of Expressions of Interest will close on Monday 10 April 2023.
You can email your Expression of Interest to firstname.lastname@example.org .
Thanks to everyone who came along to our info session today. It was great to see so many new faces, as well as lots of old friends.
Find the information pack here.
Further audition resources will be available upon booking your audition.
To book and audition, call Kimbra on 0458 847 484 between 4-9pm.
An information session for those wishing to audition for Devonport Choral Society’s 2022 production of Disney’s FREAKY FRIDAY will be held at Forth Primary School Performing Arts Centre, Wilmot Road on Sunday 14 November. The session will start at 4pm.
The information session will be a great opportunity to meet the Production Team, find out more about the show and get some tips on what the Team will be looking for at auditions.
The production will be directed by Maree Brodzinski, with musical direction by Petrina Jahnz, and choreography by Elizabeth Viney and Taylor Rand.
FREAKY FRIDAY is the story of an overworked mother and her teenage daughter who magically swap bodies. They have just 24 hours before Mum’s big wedding to put things right again. FREAKY FRIDAY, a new musical comedy based on the celebrated novel by Mary Rodgers (1972) and the hit Disney films (1976, 1995, 2003), is an hilarious, contemporary update of the classic story, in which a mother and daughter see what it means to be a family while experiencing each other’s lives first hand, if only for a day.
FREAKY FRIDAY will require a musically-talented cast of 25 players to act out multiple roles for all ages. The youngest character is 10 years old, while the older characters in the story are 60+ years of age, with every age group in between. Anyone thinking of auditioning or wishing to find out more should attend.
No bookings for auditions will be taken prior to the information session and additional information is not available until then. Auditions will be held 26 – 28 November. Auditions are by appointment only.
FREAKY FRIDAY will be performed at the paranaple arts centre (Town Hall Theatre) in May 2022.
The Devonport Choral Society has just enjoyed a hugely successful season of Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story at the paranaple arts centre, with the addition of a performance to the initial 10 show run, and full houses across the board.
At the closing night celebrations with cast, band and crew, Director of Buddy, Sid Sidebottom, and President of the Society, Maree Brodzinski presented the Life Members and Patrons Bursary. “The generous DCS Life Member Bursaries recognise outstanding contributions to a production and are granted to further the recipients’ skills and interests in theatre and the Arts. Past recipients have gone on to attain professional qualifications and roles in acting, singing, musicianship, composing, and theatre production. The Coast has a long tradition of nurturing musical theatre and these bursaries help to encourage and reinforce this important regional cultural trend”, said Mr Sidebottom.
“This year, because a Bursary was not awarded in 2020, we were able to offer four Bursaries, going to some very deserving cast members”, said Ms Brodzinski. Ezra Shelverton, who played Buddy Holly in the show, received the major award, with Lucas Hodge, Zac Weeks, and Taylor Rand also receiving recognition for their contributions.
Mr Sidebottom said of the recipients, “These four talented, first-rate young adults who, along with their fellow singers and musicians, shared special chemistry on stage to create a very special Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story.”
“We are now turning our attention to future projects including our major show for next year, Disney’s Freaky Friday”, said Ms Brodzinski. “Buddy will certainly be a hard act to follow, but we know we have the talent in our community and a strong team to make this Tasmanian premiere another smash hit. Audition announcements will be made after the Society’s September AGM and work has already begun behind the scenes.”