Vista, CA (July 1, 2019) – Nine revolting children take center stage in the San Diego Regional Premiere production of Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical at the Moonlight Amphitheatre July 17 through August 3 at 8 p.m. The Tony Award-winning musical is inspired by the twisted genius of British author Roald Dahl (novels Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The BFG among others; and the screenplays of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang) and is brought to life on The Moonlight stage by the creative team of Director Jamie Torcellini, Choreographer Colleen Kollar Smith, and Music Director and Conductor Elan McMahan
Reveling in the anarchy of childhood, the power of imagination, and the inspiring story of a girl who dreams of a better life, Matilda The Musical is full of catchy songs and high-energy dance numbers. “Above all, it’s an exhilarating tale of empowerment, as told from the perspective of the most powerless group of all…little children,” New York Times.
Matilda is a little girl with astonishing wit, intelligence, and psychokinetic powers. She’s unloved by her cruel parentsbut impresses her schoolteacher, the highly loveable Miss Honey. Over the course of her first term at school, Matilda and Miss Honey have a profound effect on each other’s lives. Matilda’s school life isn’t complete smooth sailing, however. The school’s meanheadmistress, Miss Trunchbull, hates children and loves thinking up new punishments for those who don’t abide by her rules. But Matilda has courage and cleverness in equal amounts, and could be the school’s saving grace!
Making only her second stage appearance, and her Moonlight debut, is Charity Rose in the title role. From Studio City, CA, Rose pursues acting full-time and has several television and film credits to her name (Truth Be Told coming later this year to AppleTV; Hangout Wars, Splitting Up Together, The Goldbergs, and Happy Together). As Miss Honey, actress Ashley Fox Linton makes her Moonlight debut. Her Broadway National Tour credits include Wicked and Les Misérables (starring opposite Hugh Jackman); regional credits include Young Frankenstein (3-D Theatricals); The Return to the Forbidden Planet, Sylvia, The Last Five Years (Rubicon); Sunset Boulevard and S’Wonderful (Musical Theatre West); Sweeney Todd (Cygnet); and Call Me Madam (Goodspeed) amongst numerous others on stage and in television and film.
San Diego Actor of the Year for 2018, Kevin Hafso-Koppman, makes his Moonlight debut as Mr. Wormwood, Matilda’s father. He played the title role in Young Frankenstein for San Diego Musical Theatre; Pride and Prejudice and The History Boys for Cygnet Theatre; A Funny Thing Happened…Forum and This Random World for North Coast Repertory Theatre; Hamlet, The Imaginary Invalid, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, Love’s Labour’s Lost, Bright Star at The Old Globe Theatre; and numerous other roles at stages throughout San Diego County. As Matilda’s mother, Mrs. Wormwood, Kristina Miller-Weston returns to The Moonlight after appearing as Cheryl Ann in 2014’s Catch Me If You Can. Tours include Barbie Live!, Jersey Boys, and Havana. Other regional credits include Queenie in The Wild Party, Josephine in Big Fish, Ang in Serrano, and Nice Work If You Can Get It. She premieres her cabaret, Out Loud at the Rockwell on August 27.
Portraying the “gigantic holy terror and fierce tyrannical headmistress” Miss Trunchbull is award-winning actor Randall Hickman, celebrating his 30th summer with Moonlight Stage Productions. He returns after his endearing performances of Amos in 2018’s Chicago. Other recent Moonlight credits include the Frankenstein Monster in Young Frankenstein, Uncle Fester in The Addams Family, Mama in Hairspray, and Ursula in The Little Mermaid (San Diego Theatre Critics Circle Award for Best Featured Actor). With his partner Doug Davis, Hickman celebrates the 15th anniversary this fall as the owners of Vista’s Broadway Theatre.
Taking center stage as the musical’s “maggots,” are eight young actors all making their Moonlight Stage Productions debuts. Bobby Chiu (Del Mar) is Tommy, Sydney Hagler (Spring Valley) is Hortensia, Holland Hartpence (Santee) is Amanda Thripp, Gracie Howard (Encinitas) is Alice, Alexander Ikizyan (San Diego) is Bruce Bogtrotter, Mac Jarman (La Mesa) is Eric, Isabella Pruter (San Diego) is Lavender, and John (JP) Wishchuk (San Diego) is Nigel.
Rounding out the cast are Kalin Booker (Alta Loma), Josh Bradford (Vista), Audrey Joy Deubig (Escondido), Emily Frazier (Santa Ana), Tori Hitchcock (Escondido), Cody Ingram (La Mesa), Luke H. Jacobs (San Diego), Shirley Johnston (San Diego), Kylie Kennard (Encinitas), Dylan Nalbandian (Escondido), Joy Newbegin (Carlsbad), Greg Nicholas (Tustin), Piatt Pund (San Diego), Bennett Selby (Carlsbad), Amy Smith (Henderson, NV), Cassidy Ann Smith (Encinitas), Ala Tiatia (Carlsbad), Elliot Weaver (Carlsbad), and Jason W. Webb (Riverside).
Director Jamie Torcellini returns to The Moonlight after appearing last month in Mel Brooks’ The Producers giving critically acclaimed performances as Max Bialystock. Previously, he has appeared here as Doolittle in My Fair Lady, Patsy in Spamalot, Bill Snibson in Me and My Girl, and Igor in Young Frankenstein. As a Director and/or Choreographer, Torcellini has mounted The 39 Steps, Mel Brooks’ The Producers, The Mystery of Irma Vep, Tell Me on a Sunday, The Legend of Georgia McBride, Pirates of Penzance, My Fair Lady, An Evening of One Acts in NYC, Me and My Girl, How to Succeed…, West Side Story, Life Could Be a Dream, Kiss Me Kate, Grease, and also assisted on both of the Stuart Little films starring Gena Davis and Hugh Laurie. Torcellini has been on Broadway in Cats (Mr. Mistoffelees), Little Johnny Jones (Standby to Donny Osmond), Me and My Girl (Standby for Jim Dale), Jerome Robbins Broadway, Man of La Mancha (Barber), Beauty and the Beast (LeFou), and the original company of Billy Elliot.
Moonlight’s Managing Director, Colleen Kollar Smith makes her choreographic debut for the company with Matilda The Musical. She has choreographed and/or performed in over 40 productions with Lamb’s Players Theatre, including the 80s musical revue, Mixtape, which she co-created. Other credits include: SDMT: Pump Up the Volume (co-creator/director/choreographer), Miracle on 34th Street (director/choreographer), New Village Arts: Big River (director/choreographer), Intrepid: Midsummer the Musical (co-creator/co-director), Cygnet (choreographer): Man of La Mancha, Dirty Blonde, Private Lives. Kollar Smith received the San Diego Critics Circle Craig Noel Award for Outstanding Choreography for West Side Story and American Rhythm at Lamb’s and Outstanding Performance for Bed and Sofa at Cygnet.
Elan McMahan is marking her 55th production as Music Director at Moonlight Stage Productions with Matilda The Musical. Favorite Moonlight productions include Titanic, A Little Night Music, and Sweeney Todd. Her work can also be seen on other San Diego stages including The Old Globe where she will return later this year for her eighth season with Dr. Seuss’s How The Grinch Stole Christmas. McMahan’s work has received critical acclaim, including three Craig Noel Outstanding Musical Direction awards from the San Diego Critics Circle (2012, 2015 and 2017). She holds music degrees from Brigham YoungUniversity and the St. Louis Conservatory of Music and is an associate faculty member at MiraCosta College.
Matilda The Musical’s creative team also includes Stephen Gifford (Scenic Design), Shon LeBlanc (Costume Design), Jennifer Edwards (Lighting Design), Jim Zadai (Sound Design), Peter Herman (Wig Design) Kevin Williams (Properties Design), Carlotta Malone, Roslyn Lehman, and Renetta Lloyd (Costume Coordinators), Bonnie Durben (Properties Master) and Stanley D. Cohen (Stage Manager).
Matilda The Musical features a book by Dennis Kelly and music by Tim Minchin. The show was first commissioned and produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company and premiered at The Courtyard Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon (England) on Nov. 9, 2010. The show transferred to the West End’s Cambridge Theatre on Oct. 25, 2011,then received its Broadway premiere at the Shubert Theatre on March 4, 2013 where it played until Jan. 1, 2017. The musical has won close to 50 major theatre awards, including four Tony Awards for the Broadway production.
Tickets for Matilda The Musical range $17 – $57 with discounts for children, seniors, and military at all price levels. Tickets are on sale now online at moonlightstage.com, through VisTix at (760) 724-2110, and in person at VisTix. The 39th season continueswith West Side Story (August 14 – 31), and Victor/Victoria (September 11 – 28).
For more information, visit moonlightstage.com or call (760) 724-2110.
Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical
July 17 – August 3, 2019
Gates open at 6:30 p.m.
Curtain at 8:00 p.m.
Tickets: $17 – $57
1250 Vale Terrace Drive, Vista
Phone: (760) 724-2110
LUNA CAFÉ AT THE MOONLIGHT
The Luna Café is the Moonlight Amphitheatre’s restaurant and is operated by Kitchens for Good, a non-profit organization providing innovative solutions in workforce training, healthy food production, and social enterprise.Luna Café offers pre-show dining outdoors on the Moonlight Patio where glimpses of the sunset can be seen before patrons take their seats for the show. The Café also offers delicious intermission snacks to all theatregoers including beverages. The Café’s menucan be found online at lunacafevista.com and reservations may be made by calling (619) 450-4040.
PICNICKING AT THE MOONLIGHT
One of the most unique theatre-going experiences found anywhere is Moonlight’s lawn seating, allowing patrons to bring theirown picnic suppers into the theatre and picnicking before the show. Lawn ticket holders receive a chair as part of their ticket upon entry to the theatre.
1250 Vale Terrace Drive, Vista
Gates open for picnicking and dining 90 minutes before curtain. Non-alcoholic beverages and food may be brought into the Amphitheatre. Parking is free.
ABOUT MOONLIGHT STAGE PRODUCTIONS
Winner of several San Diego Theatre Critics Circle Awards, including Best Resident Musical for 2017’s In the Heights, Moonlight Stage Productions is the cultural arts program of the City of Vista. Named “San Diego’s #1 Outdoor Theatre” by readers of ‘San Diego Magazine,’ Moonlight Stage Productions provides high caliber Broadway musical theatre each summer in the 1800-person capacity Moonlight Amphitheatre, owned and operated by the City of Vista. Audiences attend from San Diego, Southern Riverside, and Orange Counties making the Moonlight a regional destination for Broadway musical theatre. The Moonlight’s season of Broadway musicals is produced in the picturesque Moonlight Amphitheatre, a summertime tradition experienced by more than one million people. Throughout the decades, the Amphitheatre has seen numerous transformations, but nothing as dramatic as the total reconstruction of the stage house in 2008- 2009. With a grand re-opening in June 2009, a state-of-the-art venue was revealed, which included modern stage and audience facilities. Since then, the Amphitheatre has extended its entertainment offerings with the addition of concerts and other special events held throughout the year through Moonlight Presents and ClubM.