The curtain rises on a schoolyard and the Harmony Hills Players. As the music begins, our cast appears. The kids are dancing, jumping rope and playing basketball ("Opening").
A young girl rides in on her bike. She tells the audience that she's just a normal kid like everyone else... except for how she looks! She has red hair and freckles ("Look at Me"). The school kids pick on her all of the time, and she hates the way that she looks.
The kids reveal to the audience that, because of her different looks, they named her Freckleface Strawberry ("Little Freckleface Strawberry"). After most of the group has left the playground, one of Strawberry's friends, Emily, reveals to the others her crush on Danny, a classmate of theirs ("I Like Danny"). Jake and Strawberry mock her for confessing!
Later that night in her bedroom, Strawberry imagines what it would be like to live a "freckle-less" life. Intent on changing her looks, Strawberry attempts to rub her freckles away and then hide them with coverup cold cream ("I Hate Freckles"). In the middle of her vigorous scrubbing, the Freckle Gangsters appear from underneath her bed!
The Freckle Gangsters have come to confront Strawberry about her disdain for the freckles. Led by Don Fontaine, the Gangsters explain that all they want is a friendship from her ("Freckle Mafia Song"). When Stawberry's mother comes in to take her to dance class, Strawberry complains that she has "freckle-a-titis" and is getting sick of looking at her face. Mother attempts to talk her down by telling her that the freckles are just part of what makes her so unique and special ("Perfect").
We now transition to ballet school. Strawberry runs in late while the Ballet Girl is singing and doing a beautiful barre ("Perfect – Reprise"). When the young girl hurts her ankle dancing around the stage, the other kids simply walk away, but Strawberry goes over to help her. Ballet Girl reveals to Strawberry that, while she might appear perfect, she actually feels very lonely and invisible ("Lonely Girl"). The two form an immediate bond and the Ballet Girl asks Strawberry to keep her confession a secret.
The next day at Strawberry's house, she stumbles upon a ski mask while cleaning up her room. Her imagination runs wild with all of the possibilities – all of the people she could be with the ski mask ("I Can Be Anything"). Strawberry heads off to school, excited and thrilled about all of the possibilities.
In school, we find a group of boys and a group of girls at their lockers. We see into their heads; their thoughts reveal a desire to be different from who they are actually are – they all wish to be more perfect ("I Wanna Be Like Them"). All noise stops, though, when Strawberry enters wearing her mask. The kids wonder who it could be, and Jake thinks that it could be an alien trying to take over the world ("Kid in the Mask").
The kids have now migrated to the classroom. Strawberry is the last in class to arrive. The teacher begins without noticing the mysterious "kid in the mask." She continues her lesson plan, despite the other students' attempts to tell her, and teaches about the importance of a creative mind ("Creative Mind Rap"). After her lecture, the teacher reviews the homework and asks students to share. Jake stands up and shares his poem ("Be Yourself"). The teacher is moved beyond words and pulls out her hanky; the classmates back Jake up.
Out on the playground, Danny is playing a fierce game of basketball with Harry. Emily immediately joins in ("Basketball"). When Danny begins to bother the Ballet Girl, Strawberry appears and spooks the kids off. Strawberry takes off the mask and the two sit down. Ballet Girl reveals that she her audition did not go well for the prestigious ballet company; Strawberry consoles and encourages her to pursuit what she loves ("Lonely Girl – Reprise").
Later that school day, Strawberry runs into her classmates. While she tries to explain that she is the masked person, they set out to find her ("Hey It's Me"). When her mother arrives, she finds Strawberry in the mask and attempts to show her that she felt the same way as a kid. She assures her that it will pass ("Once upon a Time"). Strawberry's peers run back onstage and are thrilled to see her! They invite her to play hopscotch and promise to be best friends forever ("When You Got Friends"). Then, Jake reveals to Strawberry that she isn't alone – there is something about all of us that we don't like, but it's what makes us different. The other kids join in ("Different... Just Like Everyone Else").
In the Epilogue, we are told that Strawberry went on to become a lovely young lady with a husband and two little babies. She lived happily ever after ("Happily Ever After").
An Expanded Cast Version is now available.
Freckleface Strawberry is a direct musical adaptation of the children's book of the same name written by actress, Julianne Moore. Moore based the book on experiences that she had as a child with red hair and freckles. She wanted to write a book that emphasized a message of self-acceptance and self-confidence. Rose Caiola picked up a copy of the book and was inspired to turn it into a musical. The initial workshop of the musical involved 23 child actors, although the producers eventually decided to use adult actors in only seven roles.
Freckleface Strawberry, with music and lyrics by Gary Kupper and book by Gary Kupper and Rose Caiola, opened at New York's New World Stages on October 1, 2010. It closed six months later and eventually moved to the MMAC Theater at the Manhattan Movement and Arts Center, where it played until July 1, 2012. After closing, a national tour launched. The tour is notable for casting child actors in the child roles, whereas the roles were previously being performed by adults.
"Freckleface Strawberry stands out! Funny, fast-moving and it will entertain children of all ages!"
– The New York Times
"Every kid should see it! Our kids loved it and so did we! A simple message delivered in the most entertaining way!"
– The Daily News
"A delightful confection with high-energy and infectious warmth! Whether you have freckles or not, you are bound to fall in love."
"Fantastic! Loads of fun! An interactive sparkle fest that delights children, amuses adults, and teaches both groups a li'l something about self-esteem and image."
– Backstage Magazine
- Music and Lyrics by
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|PERFORMANCE ACCOMPANIMENT CD (STD)||1|
|PIANO VOCAL SCORE||2|
|LOGO TEES SIX-PACK ADULT LARGE|
|LOGO TEES SIX-PACK ADULT MEDIUM|
|LOGO TEES SIX-PACK ADULT SMALL|
|LOGO TEES SIX-PACK ADULT X-LARGE|
|LOGO TEES SIX-PACK ADULT XX-LARGE|
|LOGO TEES SIX-PACK CHILD LARGE|
|LOGO TEES SIX-PACK CHILD MEDIUM|
|LOGO TEES SIX-PACK CHILD SMALL|