Arts & Culture

Wonder Kids: Impish Child Stars Share the Spotlight in 'Matilda'

Beware, the small but terrible!
IMAGE COURTESY OF ATLANTIS THEATRICAL GROUP
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A talented bunch of little rascals share the spotlight in Atlantis Theatrical Entertainment Group’s staging of Matilda the Musical. Based on Roald Dahl’s children’s book (subsequently turned into a film in 1996), Matilda’s plot is driven forward by the antics of the title character, to be played alternately by Telesa Marie de Torres, Uma Naomi Martin, and Felicity Kyle Napuli, supported by a bevy of classmates—some of them nice, the others, not so much. In the musical, Matilda is an intelligent, book-loving five-year-old whose talents are ignored by her parents and her school’s cruel headmistress, Agatha Trunchbull. Only Matilda’s teacher, Miss Honey, gives her support and encouragement. When Miss Honey, played by Cris Villonco, finds herself at the receiving end of Miss Trunchbull’s hostility and greed, Matilda and her small but terrible crew vow to make things right, their battle cry being a lyric from the song “Naughty”: “You mustn’t let a little thing like ‘little’ stop you!”

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Nearly 200 child actors auditioned to take part in the musical; those who made the cut include Gabrielle Aerin Ong and Maria Ericka Peralejo as Lavender; Denise Fidel Arteta and Chi Chi Tan as Amanda; Nicole Chien and Ella Gonzalez as Alice; Alba Berenguer-Testa and Chantel Marie Guinid as Hortensia; Josh Nubla and Miguel Suarez as Bruce; Rhythm Alexander and Ian Albert Magallona as Eric; Pablo Miguel Palacpac and Gabo Tiongson as Nigel; and John Joseph Miraflores and Teddy Velasco as Tommy. Take your seats as this motley crew of misfits sing and dance their way to a classroom revolution, proving that “even if you’re little, you can do a lot.” November 10 to December 10, Meralco Theater, Ortigas Center, Pasig; tickets available through Ticketworld, 891.9999, ticketworld.com.ph; atlantistheatrical.com/faq.

This story originally appeared in the November 2017 issue of Town&Country.

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Pierre A. Calasanz
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