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Dreamcoat Fantasy Theatre returns with Matilda

Dreamcoat Fantasy Theatre returns to the Capitol Centre in North Bay with a production of Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical. The show opens on Thursday, November 30 at 7 p.m. There are two other evening shows on Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. as well, with a 1 p.m. matinee on Saturday. Tickets are available through the Capitol Centre’s box office for $25.

The production marks the return of the group’s “Family Show,” which casts adults, teens, and children. The pandemic halted productions of this sort, and everyone is glad to be back under the stage lights.

“We have a lot of Dreamcoat alumni in the show,” noted Shannon Clausen, who is on Dreamcoat’s board of directors. She too is an alumnus and is also part of the cast. “People who are in the show have grown up in Dreamcoat, acting since they were kids, and now they’re directing, producing, and choreographing for our shows.”

Inspired by the work of Roald Dahl, the Tony Award-winning Matilda the Musical is a “captivating masterpiece” that revels in the anarchy of childhood, the power of imagination and the inspiring story of a girl who dreams of a better life, Dreamcoat Fantasy Theatre explained in a release.

Clausen mentioned that around 100 people came out to audition for the musical, which is one of the biggest turnouts Dreamcoat has seen. Matilda’s cast is large, with about 60 actors bringing the story to life. Plus, there are many more volunteers who work behind the scenes, putting together the sets and the backdrops for the production.

“It takes a lot of people to put on a show like this,” Clausen said, “and I’m excited. It’s a great show, it’s very funny and it’s a very fun show for everyone.”

Matilda is directed by Jocelyn Bell-Summersby, who has been with Dreamcoat for some time, participating “in countless shows.” As for directing such a large cast, she noted that “I have a creative team that I work with, the choreographer, vocal director, stage manager, and we’ve worked together on so many shows that we really have a rhythm.”

“We’ve really found a formula that works best for us, we’re really capable of putting all of these pieces together in effective ways.”

She added that since this is a family show, there are many parents performing with their children, “so the parents can help wrangle the kids sometimes,” she joked.

David Briggs is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of BayToday, a publication of Village Media. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.

David Briggs, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, BayToday.ca