For Heidi Blickenstaff, this Friday is ‘Freaky’ — and pretty wonderful as well

The Good Company Players alum’s new Disney movie premieres Aug. 10 on the Disney Channel

When you personally know someone in a Broadway show, what’s the first thing you do when you sit down in the theater?

Open the Playbill and look for the name.

I’ve had that pleasure several times with Heidi Blickenstaff, the Fresno musical-theater dynamo who at a young age belted out “Tomorrow” for Good Company Players and kept on singing till she reached New York. By my count, I’ve tracked down Heidi’s name in Playbills for “The Full Monty,” “[title of show],” “The Little Mermaid,” “Now. Here. This” (the sequel to “[title]”) and “Something Rotten!” (Note that in four of those shows, she originated her roles.)

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Heidi Blickenstaff and Cozi Zuehlsdorff in “Freaky Friday.” Photo / Disney

But I’ll admit something: I got an even bigger jolt a few weeks go when I saw “Heidi Blickenstaff” pop up in the opening credits for the new Disney TV movie musical “Freaky Friday,” which will be released Friday, Aug. 10, on the Disney Channel. (She gets second billing, just after Cozi Zuehlsdorff, star of “Dolphin Tale,” who plays her daughter.) I’m not sure why seeing Heidi’s name on my advance video screener had such an impact. Is it because of the outsize influence of Hollywood on pop culture? Or knowing that someone I have long admired for her talent is receiving the “validation” of being captured forever on a screen?

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Heidi Blickenstaff nabs starring role in ‘Freaky Friday’ Disney movie

Today’s big news for those of us who follow All Things Blickenstaff is exciting: The Fresno favorite is going to be starring in a TV movie version of “Freaky Friday” in the role she originated in the new stage musical.

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From the studio:

Actresses Heidi Blickenstaff (“The Little Mermaid” and “Something Rotten!” on Broadway and the stage production of “Freaky Friday”) and Cozi Zuehlsdorff (“Dolphin Tale,” “Liv and Maddie”) will star in an update of the American classic “Freaky Friday, a Disney Channel musical comedy set to begin production this fall for a 2018 debut as part of the Disney Channel Original Movie franchise. The movie is based on Disney Theatrical Productions stage adaptation of the celebrated novel by Mary Rodgers and Disney’s popular feature films of the same name.

Three reasons why this is wonderful:

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