Every day of the week from now through next Sunday, July 21, will be “Freaky Friday” at North Shore Music Theatre. Every day except Monday, that is, when the Beverly theater is closed.
Disney’s musical about a mother and daughter who magically swap bodies is based on film versions of “Freaky Friday” that were released in 1976 and 2003 and a TV movie that aired in 1996. Those in turn were based on a 1972 novel by Mary Rodgers.
But none of those versions contained the character of Torrey, who was created for the musical that was first staged in 2016 and is being played at North Shore Music Theatre by Lindsey Alley.
“I think it’s actually pretty hilarious that in all my years of show business, this is the first Disney musical I’ve been a part of,” she said.
Alley, 41, thinks it’s funny because she spent six years and seven seasons as a cast member of Disney’s “The All-New Mickey Mouse Club,” where she appeared with the likes of Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, Ryan Gosling and Christina Aguilera.
“As I like to say to people, ‘No, they were with me,’” Alley said. “I say it with a laugh.”
When pressed on how well she knew any of the Mouseketeers who went on to become big stars, Alley points out that she was a veteran club member when they started.
“How many 16-year-olds do you know who hang out with 12-year-olds?” she said. “It wasn’t like we were going to the mall together. It’s like we were going to the same school.”
Although she hasn’t enjoyed the same level of renown as her fellow club members, Alley has worked steadily on Broadway, off-Broadway and in regional theater, as well as in film and television, since her Mickey Mouse days.
She’s enjoying “Freaky Friday” because it offers more complex characters and themes than earlier Disney musicals, which have typically been based on animated features such as “Aladdin.”
“With something like ‘Freaky Friday,’ it digs a little deeper, digging into relationships with mothers and daughters, daughters and stepdads,” Alley said. “It’s not just about, ‘Hey, mom and daughter swap places and wackiness ensues.’ I think that’s Disney going further with this musical.”
Her character, Torrey, works for Katherine Blake, the mother who finds herself inhabiting the body of her daughter, Ellie.
Katherine runs a catering business and is hoping to have her own wedding featured on the cover of a magazine.
That is one of the complex adult realities that Ellie must handle, while Katherine has to cope with Ellie’s relationships and responsibilities in high school, which include a digital scavenger hunt.
The story focuses on the lessons that they learn about each other’s lives, and how these bring them closer together as a family, in the aftermath of Katherine’s first husband’s death.
“This is such a different take on a standard Disney musical, and the music is written by the guy who did ‘Next to Normal,’” Alley said.
The guy she is referring to, Tom Kitt, won the Pulitzer Prize for drama for “Next to Normal” in 2010 along with lyricist Brian Yorkey, and the pair also joined forces to create “Freaky Friday.”
“As I’ve been listening to the story unfold in rehearsal, its feels like a very hip opera — that’s how the storytelling is going,” Alley said. “Everything is in the music. There are book scenes, but all the storytelling is in song, all the relationships are in song.”
Alley, who grew up in Florida and now lives in New Jersey, started performing when she was 6 and played the lead role in “Annie” at the Burt Reynolds Jupiter Theatre in the mid-1980s, when she was 8.
“Our director, who did the casting, was Charles Nelson Reilly, isn’t that great?” she said, referring to the late Tony Award-winning actor who became widely known for his appearances on game shows.
Alley has written her own material, which includes a club act that reflects on her experiences in the Mickey Mouse Club and is called “Blood, Sweat & Mousketears.”
The “big joke” of the show is that she ruined her career by going to college, while Spears was selling millions of records.
In contrast to the musicals Alley often appears in, which usually have happy endings, her club act is more about confronting the “rude awakening of the real world.”
But Alley, who is now married and recently had her first child, also knows that fulfillment can take many different forms.
“The theme is unrealized dreams, but in the end, this is a better version than I could have imagined,” she said. “I have a wonderful life with my husband and baby, and I get to perform regularly.”
Her original works also include 40 episodes of a web-based series, “On the Patio,” in which Alley and her mother, Marcia, talk about everything from cats to alcohol to clothes.
The episodes, which last just a few minutes, began in 2011 when Alley and some friends were working on another project and Marcia would interrupt them.
“She kept coming in, interjecting something, and we realized that was the show,” Alley said. “My mother is the star of the family, and naturally funny. We didn’t have to hire a writer. You can’t make this stuff up.”
If they don’t quite trade places, like the mother and daughter in “Freaky Friday,” the Alleys make a delightful pair as they impart some wisdom with a lot of humor.
“I feel like I’ve got all these goofy irons in the fire,” Alley said. “Nobody’s going to get rich.”
If you go
What: “Freaky Friday”
When: July 11, 16, 17 and 18 at 7:30 p.m.; July 12, 13, 19 and 20 at 8 p.m.; and July 13, 14, 17, 20 and 21 at 2 p.m.
Where: North Shore Music Theatre, 62 Dunham Road, Beverly
How much: $61 to $86
More information: 978-232-7200 or www.nsmt.org