With a fabulous cast ranging in age from 7 years to grown-up, an extraordinary creative score, catchy tunes, fantastic special effects, and awesome choreography, Matilda the Musical will entertain audiences of all ages at Cultural Arts Playhouse (CAP) in Syosset.
The role of the tiny yet ever-so-capable Matilda Wormwood is shared by three super talented girls: Goldie Lynne Centamore, Claire Daly, and Sofia Jarmel.
“Their innocence and sweetness, as well as their talent shine through and their ability to memorize such massive material is amazing,” says Bruce Grossman, CAP’s owner and artistic director.
Based on the beloved Roald Dahl classic, Matilda is the story of an exceptional, seemingly enchanted girl who at 5 years old has read hefty titles as Crime and Punishment and Jane Eyre, and even speaks Russian. Rather than praise their daughter and shower her with kisses of pride, Matilda’s parents resent her for not being a boy and are incredibly cruel to her. Matilda attends a private school with a monstrous headmistress, Miss Trunchbull, played by John DiGiorgio and Jerry Callahan. Fortunately, Matilda and her school friends meet kindness in their teacher, Miss Honey, played by Alyson Endlich and Samantha Eagle. The children discover that “even if you’re little, you can do a lot,” a message that resonates well with CAP.
“Our theater is pretty profound for its development and work with kids,” Grossman says. “We give very good training and bring them up in a very positive fashion and help instill confidence.”
CAP offers youth classes and productions, as well as mainstage performances. It makes it a mutually enjoyable experience when child and adult actors collaborate for a mainstage production.
“The kids absolutely love working with an adult cast — it makes them feel like it’s Broadway,” he says. “The adults are very appreciative because they know it will enhance the show to have really talented kids in the appropriate roles.”
Matilda the Musical is one monumental endeavor, says Grossman, but a welcome challenge that comes with great reward for CAP’s dedicated, creative production team that includes Tony Frangipane, artistic director; Amanda Schmidt, stage manager; Kristina King, choreographer; and Rich Giordano, music director.
Matilda the Musical runs from Jan. 4 to Feb. 2 at Cultural Arts Playhouse, Syosset, 170 Michael Drive. 516-694-3330. culturalartsplayhouse.com Tickets are $24-$38.
Editor’s note: Goldie Lynne Centamore is Michelle’s daughter.