‘Matilda the Musical!’ coming soon

  • Debra Blachowiak / Special to The Garden Island

    The cast of crew of HCT’s “Matilda the Musical” includes, from left front row seated Alan Van Zee and Carol Culver; second row from left Larry Richardson, Fia Gaines, Karlie Goldberg, Rain Barrett Verd and Savannah Hubbard; third row from left Ron Soderstom, Sabryn Rudinoff, Simon Oyama, Abby Winters, Travis Williamson, Trinity Grace Muana, Kayman Addison, Eva Light, Tawna Bensaid, Erin Gaines and Taj Gutierrez; fourth row from left Max Richardson, Echo Rohner, Natalie Claytor, Anastasia Gatlin, Amber Jardin, Veda Parker and Leilani Goldberg; and back row from left Jacob Lester, Margaret McLeod, Eve Parker, Isaac Dubey and Charles O’Neill.

Hawaii Children’s Theatre announced the fall production of Roald Dahl’s “Matilda the Musical!”

It is the story of a gifted girl who takes control of her own destiny in this Tony Award-winning musical based on the book by Dahl. Filled with heart, hope and determination, “Matilda the Musical!” will enchant audiences, and is guaranteed to make magic on the stage, organizers said.

“Matilda” is a full-scale Broadway musical production directed and choreographed by Carol Culver, who has been working with HCT for many years. She directed their recent productions of “Mary Poppins” and “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.”

This one promises to be lots of fun, with wonderful songs, lots of dancing, a live orchestra and exciting sets and special effects, Culver said.

She is a long-time dance instructor on Kauai. She has Broadway chops, too, having been involved in the Broadway version of “Grease” as well as the film version.

She is complemented by a team of seasoned theater professionals including Alan Van Zee (musical director), Dolly Kanekuni (vocal coach), Taj Gutierrez and Bailey Hutton (stage managers) and Debra Blachowiak (producer).

The cast of “Matilda the Musical!” features 29 cast members.

The very difficult role of Matilda Wormwood has been double-cast with Rain Barrett Verd and Karlie Goldberg.

Matilda’s classmates will be played by Kayman Addison, Fia Gaines, Savannah Hubbard, Eva Light, Trinity Grace Muana, Simon Oyama, Travis Williamson and Abby Winters.

The “Big Kids” are Kala‘e Abrams, Anastasia Gatlin, Leilani Goldberg, Amber Jardin, Jacob Lester, Margaret McLeod, Charles O’Neill, Eve Parker, Veda Parker and Echo Rohner.

Erin Gaines and Taj Gutierrez have the roles of the teacher Miss Honey and Headmistress Trunchbull, respectively.

Mr. and Mrs. Wormwood are played by Larry Richardson and Sabryn Rudinoff. Rounding out the cast in a variety of fun characters are Tawna Bensaid, Natalie Claytor, Isaac Dubey, Max Richardson and Ron Soderstrom.

HCT’s hallmark is a diverse cast integrating both experienced and novice actors, with an educational production process where students and adults build valuable theatre skills in all aspects of production, while building confidence and a sense of teamwork along the way.

The show is scheduled to perform over three weekends at Kauai War Memorial Convention Hall from Nov. 15 through Dec. 1, with Friday and Saturday shows scheduled at 7 p.m. and Sunday matinees at 4 p.m.

Tickets are available at the door for $15 adults, $12 seniors/students (children 3 and under are free). Advance tickets will be available for $12 at ticket outlets from and at the HCT website, hawaiichildrenstheatre.org. Ticket outlets are Times in Lihue, Kalaheo Cafe, Progressive Expressions/Billabong in Koloa, Papayas in Kapaa, Healthy Hut in Kilauea, and Magic Dragon Toy and Art Supply in Princeville.

Groups may contact the organization for discounted tickets (25 persons or more). Tickets from the cast are $10 apiece.

The community is encouraged to support a special benefit matinee performance on Sunday, Nov. 17, for Kauai food banks, with $6 tickets from the cast and at the door along with a donation of food or money. Performances for schools are Tuesday and Thursday, Nov. 19 and 21.

HCT’s productions are made possible through a broad range of community support and thousands of volunteer hours. Many opportunities remain to support the production in its final weeks of preparation.

Those interested in more information about how to support “Matilda the Musical!” and HCT, including how to donate, set sponsorship, program advertising or volunteering, may contact HCT Administrator Erin Gaines at the HCT office, 246-8985, or via www.hawaiichildrenstheatre.org.

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