Matilda, based on the acclaimed novel by Roald Dahl, became a West End musical in 2011 and transferred to Broadway in 2013. Hugely popular with both audiences and critics, the show written by Dennis Kelly and Tim Minchin can now be found on the stage of the John W. Engeman Theater in Northport.
Precocious 5-year-old Matilda faces obstacles at school and at home, then she discovers she has the gift of telekenisis. With this new power and the power of her imagination, she overcomes the challenges in her life and, against all odds, changes her destiny.
The cast features young actors, full of energy, singing catchy tunes, including “Naughty” and the signature song “When I Grow Up.” Music and lyrics were written by the brilliant comedian Tim Minchin, who also penned the music for Olivier Award-winning musical Groundhog Day.
AnnaBelle Deaner and Elsa Dees share the role of Matilda, the clever little girl with a big imagination. Deaner was previously seen on The Engeman stage as Ivonka in Once the Musical and as Molly in Annie. Dees recently appeared in the national tour of Les Misérables as Little Cosette/Young Éponine.
“It’s really cool to find the emotions that are in [Matilda] because she’s kind of such a complex character,” Dees said. “She tries to get the message out that you don’t have to be big to be powerful.”
Dane Agostinis will be making his Engeman debut as Miss Trunchbull, the headmistress at Matilda’s school who despises Matilda and her classmates.
“I’m so oppressive to them all,” Agostinis said. “I think that the lesson that means the most is never let anybody tell you what you can’t do—just because they’re grown ups doesn’t mean they know what they’re talking about.”
Kate Fahrner returns to the Engeman stage as Matilda’s kind and caring teacher, Miss Honey. Michael Perrie Jr. returns to the Engeman as Matilda’s father, Mr. Wormwood, after starring as Buddy Holly in Buddy last season. Sara Gallo makes her Engeman debut as Matilda’s mother, Mrs. Wormwood. Nicole Powell returns to the Engeman as the librarian, Mrs. Phelps, after previously playing Muzzy in the 2016 production of Thoroughly Modern Millie.
View the video above for featured interviews with the cast and clips from the show.
Matilda is a must see for the whole family this holiday season. See it through Dec. 29 at The John W. Engeman Theater, 250 Main St., Northport. For tickets, visit engemantheater.com.
The Engeman’s upcoming productions include Million Dollar Quartet (Jan. 16 through March 1), Sister Act (March 19 through May 3) and Anything Goes (May 14 through June 28).
—Additional reporting by Waldo Cabrera