Phoenix Performing Arts Centre is again delving into the wonderfully warped world of Roald Dahl this weekend.
Phoenix Kids and Teens Summer Intensive Camp will present the area’s premier production of the musical version of Dahl’s classic book, “Matilda,” Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. at the theater, 409 Main St., Duryea.
Tickets to the show are $10 general admission and $5 for kids 5 and younger. Advance reservations are highly recommended and can be made by calling 570-457-3589.
“Matilda the Musical” is based on the 1988 children’s novel of the same name by Roald Dahl, the beloved author known for other darkly comic stories like “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” As it happens, Phoenix produced a musical version of “Charlie” earlier this year.
Running on Broadway from 2013 to 2017, “Matilda the Musical” was adapted by Dennis Kelly, with music and lyrics by Tim Minchin. Just like the book and the 1996 movie adaptation directed by Danny DeVito, the musical revolves around the title character, a precocious 5-year-old girl with the gift of telekinesis. Throughout the show, she puts her powers to use while overcoming various obstacles caused by her family and school and helping her teacher to reclaim her life.
The Phoenix production consists of 22 cast members ages 7 to 18 who are taking part in the Summer Intensive Camp. They’ve spent the past three weeks learning their lines and the show’s many songs and dance numbers.
Phoenix artistic director Lee LaChette directed the show, with Katie-Louise Fidiam serving as assistant director and Jenn Johnson-Hamer as musical director.
“It’s just such a fun show, and the kids are having a blast,” LaChette said. “They have only a short amount of time to put together a full-length production, and they’re doing great. It’s a mix of little kids and teens, with the teens playing a lot of the adult roles. And our older kids take such good care of the younger kids. They watch out for them.” Cast members include Gwen Keezer as Matilda, Makayla Neel as the evil school headmistress Miss Trunchbull, Brooke Manley as the nice teacher Miss Honey and Evan Barrett as Matilda’s classmate Bruce, who gets one of the show’s biggest laughs when he’s forced to eat an entire chocolate cake.
The show features “an off-the-charts set,” LaChette said, plus some nifty special effects as Matilda makes several things move with her mind, from cups to chalk.
Meanwhile, there’s plenty of catchy songs throughout the show, including “Bruce,” “Revolting Children” and the opening number, “Miracle,” which goes on for about 10 minutes.
“These kids have been working their butts off,” LaChette said. “It’s going to be a great show.”
If you go
What: “Matilda the Musical”
When: Friday, July 12, and Saturday, July 13, 7 p.m., and Sunday, July 14, 2 p.m.
Where: Phoenix Performing Arts Centre, 409 Main St., Duryea
Details: Tickets are $10 general admission and $5 for kids 5 and under. Reservations are highly recommended and can be made by calling 570-457-3589. For more information, visit phoenixpac.vpweb.com.