‘Matilda’ musical coming to the Ellis this week
The Philadelphia-Neshoba County (PNC) Arts Council is bringing the story of a young girl finding herself through a caring mentor to the Ellis stage later this week with “Matilda.”
The upcoming musical is based on a 1996 comedy film co-produced and directed by Danny DeVito, which is based on the 1988 novel of the same name by Roald Dahl.
Kinsey Goldman, president of the PNC Arts Council and one of the directors of the musical, said “Matilda” tells the story of a special little girl who does not come from the best family, but finds a teacher who inspires her and brings out her special abilities to show her how special she truly is.
“The story is basically the same as the movie from the 1990s,” Goldman said. “Netflix also released the musical around Christmas last year, and we are following the storyline of that for ours. The thing to consider when watching this play is to never underestimate someone’s potential. People of all ages will have something to enjoy about this.”
“Matilda” performance times are Thursday, March 9 at 7 p.m., Friday, March 10 at 7 p.m., Saturday, March 11 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m.
Goldman said the musical involves a lot of children, and around 40 cast members out of the 75 total crew members are kids from first grade to seniors in high school.
He said the cast has been preparing for the musical since Jan. 2 of this year and that he is impressed by how quickly everyone has caught on to their roles and the music.
“The kids learned their parts much quicker than we thought and we’re thrilled about how well the cast has done,” Goldman said. “We have a lot of first timers in the cast and they’re so excited to get on stage, and people who have performed before love the transformation of the Ellis.”
Goldman said everyone in the cast appreciates the support and they are incredibly excited to get back on stage.
“We have not been able to do a production in the Ellis since 2019, and we are ecstatic about getting back in there,” he said. “We hope people come and support the arts and we couldn’t do this without everyone coming and enjoying the shows. We really want people to see this.”
Tim Moore, executive director of the Philadelphia-Neshoba Chamber of Commerce, is also directing the musical alongside Goldman. Moore is a current PNC Arts Council board member and served as council president for 11 years.
“People will be immersed into the magic of theatre and the story,” Moore said. “I think people who come in and see this will come out wanting to give theatre a try. The way I’ve always looked at the story of Matilda is that it hits home with everybody. It’s a story that could happen to anyone and it’s good to see a storyline have a happy ending.”
Moore said it’s great to get back into directing plays since he has not directed one since “The Addams Family" musical in 2019.
“We’re very excited to be bringing performances back,” he said. “Come out and support the arts in Philadelphia, support the children, and enjoy good quality entertainment. If you haven’t seen the renovated Ellis, this is your chance to do so.”
To purchase tickets for the show, call the Ellis Theatre box office at (601) 653-5358, or purchase tickets at the door on the day of the show. Tickets are $20 for general admission and $15 for PNC Arts Council members and students.