The Cast of “Matilda” Shares their Excitement as Opening Night Approaches

Michelle Tanchak (Matilda) and Nicki Meskos (Mrs. Phelps) work on their scene. Photo Credit: Sadie Mahan ('23)

As opening night approaches, the cast of Matilda reflects on their experience through performing in this show. For all, it has served as an incredible time of learning and bonding with their castmates and making priceless memories. The audition process began in November and production week is in full swing to prepare for opening night, February 10.

Nathan Warren-Faricy (Mr. Wormwood) and Thomas Vander Molen (Michael Wormwood) practicing their song “All I Know” at rehearsal. Photo Credit: Sadie Mahan (’23)

Sophomore Alex Bronchetti, who plays Miss Honey, says that the community they have made in the cast is what truly makes the experience so special. “I genuinely wouldn’t be able to make it through the long rehearsals without this cast,” she says. Senior Christian McVicker, who plays Bruce, recalls his favorite memories throughout the years of being involved with the musicals. He enjoys learning choreography and hanging out with his fellow castmates before and after rehearsal.

He also says that “The show experience for me has been very busy with having to balance it on top of school but so far it has been completely worth it.” Michelle Tanchak, who plays Matilda Wormwood, recalls that her favorite part of the whole experience has been getting closer with the cast as they approach the performance weekend.

Ella Brann, who plays Lavender, says she has “loved the positive atmosphere in rehearsals and having fun with my castmates.” Overall, the cast of Matilda has developed a strong bond over the course of rehearsals and cannot wait to showcase all of their hard work this weekend.

There is no doubt that an amazing show takes lots of hard work and dedication. However, through this, the actors have faced challenges. For Ava Harle, (Mrs. Wormwood) a challenge was getting in touch with the crazy and funny character that she plays.

But she also says that she is “excited to be playing someone so different from an everyday person which makes the show so fun.” Tanchak shared that she was nervous to be memorizing so many long lines, but with practice, she has been able to do it with ease. Bronchetti also shared that it was her first time ever performing in heels, so she was excited to take on that new challenge. Another thing that comes as a challenge to the cast is how the show does not have any blackouts between scenes so the show moves along quickly, which was an adjustment for the cast and crew. With the current spikes in COVID cases, the cast has had to be flexible in the rehearsal process with wearing masks, as well as being prepared if rehearsals switched to zoom temporarily.

Ava Harle (Mrs. Wormwood) and Ella Brann (Lavender) learning their music. Photo Credit: Sadie Mahan (’23)

Overall, the cast is most excited for the big dance numbers in the show such as “Revolting Children” and “Miracle,” which will be even more lively with the audience.

Nicki Meskos, who plays Mrs. Phelps, says that “everyone should come to see the show because we have all worked so hard to tell an amazing story filled with so many talented people.”

For the seniors involved in the show, it is their last run on the J-DHS stage. Christian McVicker shares his final goodbyes, “Everyone I’ve had the chance to work with has been really nice and I will miss being involved in the shows at J-D. I can’t wait for my final musical and I’m hoping to make it my best.”

Joanna Meskos is a junior at JD High School. This is her second year co-editing the Culture section of Rampage where she can share her love of music and entertainment.