“Matilda the Musical” by Dennis Kelly and Tim Minchin, is based on the 1988 children’s novel by Roald Dahl. Notably, it saw a film adaptation in 1996 starring Mara Wilson, Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman.
Boone Community Theater will stage it at the Des Moines Area Community College auditorium, 1125 Hancock Drive, in Boone. Opening day is Dec. 1.
Susan Herrick and Michele Jacobson are co-directing.
“I heard this song ‘Revolting Children’ and just loved it. It’s a lot of fun,” Jacobson said. “I looked into the musical and it’s exciting and silly.”
She approached Herrick with the idea of staging the show. Herrick said she had seen one of her grandchildren appear in the play at a different theater and too thought it would be an ideal fit for BCT.
The story centers on five-year-old Matilda Wormwood who endures the wrath of neglectful parents and a strict school headmistress. She discovers she has telekinesis, which allows her to defend her friends and herself from unkind adults.
Auditions were held in September with the final cast being a mix of seasoned pros and newbies. Rehearsals began soon after.
“It’s kind of crazy when you do a show at the beginning of December with Thanksgiving break and the holidays — it makes you feel kind of cramped for time,” Jacobson added.
Nine-year-old Ingrid Oakley won the role of Matilda. While it’s her first time appearing in a BCT production, she has performed in shows at the Des Moines Playhouse.
“At her audition, it was just very clear she had prepared very well. She knew what she was singing and thought through what the character would be like,” Jacobson said. “Her acting skills just really shone through at her audition.”
Her character is four years younger than her real-life age, which Oakley said wasn’t difficult at all to play.
“It’s kind of easy I guess. I like playing a younger character. It just feels normal,” she said.
She’s had fun taking on the role.
“Matilda goes through so many emotions and she interacts with so many people. She gets to sing a lot of songs, which are fun,” she said.
Oakley added that she didn’t find there to be anything challenging about the role.
The part of Miss Honey — a teacher and mother figure to Matilda — is played by 16-year-old high schooler Lily Joseph. She’s been appearing in community theater plays and musicals since she was 7 years old, but this is her first time with BCT.
“She’s just such a kind and loving person off stage, so she’s really able to bring her personality on stage,” Jacobson said.
Joseph said she didn’t struggle to assume the role of playing an adult.
“I’m just more mature for my age, so it wasn’t that big of a character switch for me,” she said.
When the cast breaks into dancing scenes, Joseph said that gives her pause to remember she’s considered an adult for this production.
“I love how this was cast — it was based off of people’s talents and not grade or age like they do for musicals through school,” she said. “Everyone brings something different to the table which makes it so unique and so good.”
While known for her fun, bubbly personality in real life, Miranda Plate assumes the role of the militant, cruel Miss Agatha Trunchbull.
“My daughter dared me to try out. She said ‘What’s the worst that can happen?’ I became the bad guy,” Plate said with a laugh. “It’s hard to be angry at the kids. It really is. I break character quite a bit right now and hopefully will get that out of my system before show night … think of the worst road rage you have and transfer that to your character.”
During the second act, she caries a coach’s whistle.
“I brought the whistle in pretty early on for rehearsals,” Plate added. “The kids know when I blow the whistle they’re supposed to listen. It helps the directors out as well.”
Plate said this experience has made her want to appear in future plays.
BCT is always looking for a permanent venue for its productions. It stages its smaller shows at its headquarters, 705 Story St. But for larger shows and musicals — “Matilda” has a cast of around 30 — it looks elsewhere within the community.
The musical is a two-act play with a running time of a little over two hours plus a 15-minute intermission.
Show dates for "Matilda the Musical" in Boone
Dec. 1, 7 p.m.
Dec. 2, 7 p.m.
Dec. 3, 3 p.m.
Dec. 8, 7 p.m.
Dec. 9, 7 p.m. (with ASL interpreter)
Dec. 10, 7 p.m.
Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children ages 10 and under. A group discount of 10% is available for groups of 10 or more.
Tickets will be available at the door or in advance online at http://boonecommunitytheatre.org/season.html.
This season’s other shows include: “Robin Hood and Maid Marian” starting Feb. 3 and “Wait Until Dark” starting April 13.
Matilda — Ingrid Oakley
Miss Agatha Trunchbull — Miranda Plate
Miss Honey — Lily Joseph
Mrs. Wormwood — Jessica Stanley
Mr. Wormwood — Christopher Levi
Michael Wormwood/Nigel — Cory Eggett
Mrs. Phelps — Ann Nelson
Bruce — Collin Holman
Lavender — Selah Griffis
Amanda Thripp — Addie Wisecup
Eric — Maggie Witte
Tommy — Nolan Jacobson
Alice — Tiffany Jones
Hotensia — Moriah Feddern
Rudolpho/The Escapologist/Father — Zacc Cue
Acrobat/Doctor — Cathryn Gebhart
Sergei — David Michael and Brandon Windus
Nurse/Henchman — Maryjane Tillman
School Cook/Mother — Hannah Skinner
Children’s Entertainer/Judge — Jessica Ott
Scary Kid — Cordelia Stanley
Snarky Kid — Vivienne Wojcik
Big Kid — Myra Dominick
Big Kid — Michaela Skinner
Little Kid — Katherine Mullen
Little Kid — Ava Marchman
Little Kid — Lily Melhus
Little Kid — Jenna Ott
This article originally appeared on Ames Tribune: Boone Community Theater's ‘Matilda the Musical’ opens Dec. 1