The Encinitas-based Ovation Theatre’s musical production of “Matilda” debuts Jan. 31 at 7 p.m., with additional performances this weekend, Feb. 1-2 at 2 p.m. each day, and next week from Feb. 7-9.
Annika Porter stars as Matilda, and the cast includes adults and student actors. Rehearsals have been going on since November.
“The story of Matilda really resonates with them,” said Pamela Laurent, the show’s director, who also serves as Ovation’s artistic director and executive director. “It’s a story of empowerment, learning to control your own destiny.”
Based on the classic Roald Dahl novel, the play is about a precocious young girl named Matilda, who learns to channel her telekinesis as a way to navigate turbulent relationships with her parents and school principal, while also forming a bond with her teacher, Miss Honey.
The book was published in 1988, and a 1996 movie adaptation starred Mara Wilson, Danny DeVito and Rhea Pearlman.
“You can fight back when you feel downtrodden,” said Laurent of the story’s theme. Laurent co-founded the Voice Studio and North County School of the Arts with her husband Scott Gregory.
Laurent also has an extensive resume as a singer and performer. She said she was interested in directing “Matilda” since she saw it on Broadway in 2014, and added she was “really touched by the story.” The production includes multiple dance numbers and songs.
Ovation Theatre is a nonprofit that serves the greater North County area and provides opportunities for actors of all ages. Some of its past productions are “Footloose,” “Freaky Friday,” “Crazy for You,” Anything Goes,” and Beauty and the Beast.”
The final performances of “Matilda” will be Feb. 7 at 7 p.m. and Feb. 8-9 at 2 p.m.
The shows will be held at the David H. Thompson Performing Arts Center at La Costa Canyon High School. Tickets are available at ovationtheatre.brownpapertickets.com. Group rates are also available. Visit www.ovationtheatre.org, call (760) 487-8568, email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.