Family night at the theater
The event: For some Angelenos, the opening performance of “Matilda the Musical” at the Ahmanson Theatre on June 7 was a family affair. Comedian Jack Black brought his two sons; “Scandal” actor Dan Bucatinsky and screenwriter Don Roos brought their son and daughter; TV personality Kyle Richards had her daughter; and plenty more families could be spotted at the show and after-party at nearby Kendall’s Brasserie and Bar.
Still, judging from the audience, the four-time Tony Award-winning musical is just as much for adults. As further evidence, Tim Minchin — the play’s composer and lyricist — noted that he’s often seen grown men getting tearyeyed during performances.
The play: Based on Roald Dahl’s novel “Matilda,” the play tells the story of a precocious girl, a voracious reader and enthusiastic storyteller disdained by her parents and the headmistress at school. Still, her courage never wavers, which she confirms in her repeating refrain, that “just because you find that life’s not fair, it doesn’t mean that you just have to grin and bear it.”
The scene: The cast party featured face-painting, hula hoops and noise-makers. And lest any theater lovers miss the same-night Tony Awards, chairs were set before a TV. The crowd: Mia Sinclair Jenness, Gabby Gutierrez and Mabel Tyler — the play’s three alternating Matildas — joined Center Theatre Group supporters after the play. Among other cast members at the party were Jennifer Blood, Quinn Mattfield, Bryce Ryness, Cassie Silva and Ora Jones.
Quotes of note: “I try to take [the children] to as much live theater as possible,” said Bucatinsky. “[I]t’s fun for them to see some things not on an iPad once in a while.”
Roald Dahl “was really the most extraordinary father because he always showered us with surprises and always pushed our imaginations,” said Lucy Dahl, one of the late author’s four children. “Vis-avis ‘Matilda,’ he positively was pen pals with the headmistress of our school, always complaining on our behalf about our teachers, telling them they were teaching us the wrong way.”
Of note: “Matilda the Musical” is scheduled to continue through July 12. Info: www.CenterTheatreGroup.org.
“MATILDA” ACTORS Mia Sinclair Jenness, left, Bryce Ryness, Gabby Gutierrez and Mabel Tyler.
KYLE RICHARDS brought one of her kids.
LUCY DAHL, left, and composer Tim Minchin.