Fam­ily night at the theater

Los Angeles Times - - P8 - By Ellen Olivier Ellen Olivier is the founder of So­ci­ety News LA. im­age@la­times.com

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.

Pho­to­graphs by Ryan Miller Cap­ture Imag­ing

“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.

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