Theatre Under the Stars 2023 Summer Season: The Prom and Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical
Audiences are invited to witness the magic that comes from taking risks, celebrating differences, and, above all, accepting others for who they truly are in this summer’s endearing and exhilarating season of Theatre Under the Stars (TUTS), which presents The Prom and Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical, on stage July 6–August 26, 2023, at Stanley Park’s scenic Malkin Bowl.
“We are excited to present this season of hope, hilarity, love, and acceptance to our beloved TUTS audience,” says TUTS General Manager Kevin Woo. “This year’s productions offer a perfect balance for avid theatregoers and TUTS newcomers alike with a blend of big-hearted storylines and thrilling adventure, filled with moments of levity and joy. More than ever, we could all be reminded of the importance of empathy and kindness.”
TUTS’ 2023 season brings to the stage two sparkling musicals full of whimsy and charm – both featuring a large cast of lovable and zany characters, eye popping set design, and outstanding musical numbers.
Set at a small-town high school, The Prom balances unabashed hopefulness, heartfelt vulnerability, and hard-hitting hilarity. The show opens with four, down-on-their-luck Broadway actors looking to make a change. Desperate to improve their public image, they search for a high-profile charitable cause to support. They find Emma – a high school senior whose prom has just been cancelled because she planned to attend with her girlfriend. But their scheming quickly goes sideways, and they ultimately come to learn what everyone is searching for – a place to belong. A relatively new musical, which debuted on Broadway in November 2018, The Prom was most recently produced as a Netflix movie starring Meryl Streep, in 2020.
Starring in The Prom are TUTS alums Caitriona Murphy as Dee Dee Allen (The Drowsy Chaperone, Mamma Mia!), Amanda Lourenço as Angie Dickinson (Cinderella, Something Rotten!), Matthew Valinho as Trent Oliver (We Will Rock You), Amy Gartner as Mrs. Greene (Legally Blonde), and Brianna Clark as Alyssa Greene (The Music Man, Hairspray). TUTS debuts include Greg Armstrong-Morris as Barry Glickman, Anna Pontin as Emma Nolan, and Kevin Khonje – who makes his first-ever acting debut – as Principal Tom Hawkins.
Award-winning actor, writer, and director/choreographer Tracey Power will make her TUTS debut as director and choreographer of The Prom, transporting audiences from the larger-than-life glamour of New York City to the modest simplicity of a quintessential small town. A revered leader in the theatre community, Power has worked with numerous theatre and opera companies, including Vancouver Opera, Bard on the Beach, Arts Club Theatre, Firehall Arts Centre, and Citadel Theatre. Power is joined by Paige Fraser as Assistant Director and Sean Bayntun as Music Director.
A whimsical musical that showcases all of the best elements of Roald Dahl’s iconic storytelling – bravery, rebelliousness, and a sharp wit that has gripped audiences for the past 60-plus years – Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical is chock full of humour, heart, and hope. Set in a small English village, a brilliant little girl with a lively imagination is ignored at home by her parents and bullied at school by her headmistress. Through the strength of her imaginative storytelling ability, she uses her surprising magical powers to ‘fight for the right to be a little bit naughty.’ With toe-tapping songs and outstanding dance numbers featuring a talented cast of young people, this family-friendly stage phenomenon is the perfect TUTS introduction for young audiences. Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical has also received the Netflix treatment, released as a feature film on the streaming platform in 2022, starring Emma Thompson as Miss Trunchbull.
Playing the lead role of Matilda Wormwood is TUTS newcomer Siggi Kaldestad, joined by TUTS alums Jyla Robinson as Miss Trunchbull (Something Rotten!, South Pacific, Thoroughly Modern Millie), Victor Hunter as Mr. Wormwood (How to Succeed, Shrek, Beauty and the Beast, Mary Poppins) and Madeleine Suddaby as Mrs. Wormwood (Thoroughly Modern Millie, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Anything Goes). Also making their TUTS debuts are Paula Higgins as Miss Honey, Adam Lenk as Michael Wormwood, Hazel Eason as Mrs. Phelps/Nurse, Preston Culili as Bruce and Vienna Vasquez as Lavender.
Stephanie Graham makes her TUTS directorial debut with Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical, who will bring the tenacious spirit of this fun-loving musical to life on stage, inspired by the whimsical illustrations of longtime Roald Dahl illustrator Quentin Blake. Graham’s directing credits include Chicago, Beauty and the Beast, and Mamma Mia! for Saskatchewan’s Globe Theatre and Anne of Green Gables for Ontario’s Thousand Islands Playhouse. Graham is joined by Krystal Kiran – TUTS’ 2022 inaugural BIPOC Creative Fellowship mentee – as Choreographer and Lia Wolfe as Music Director.
Relaxed Performance – Monday, July 24
TUTS is proud to partner with the Canucks Autism Network to host a relaxed performance of Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical. A Relaxed Performance is designed for anyone who may need a more casual environment to enjoy the theatre, including (but certainly not limited to) people on the Autism Spectrum, people with sensory or communication disorders, neurological disorders, or people with a learning disability. We will have a more relaxed attitude about how our audience experiences the performance and ask all audience members to be aware of people’s needs to move or make noise.
Pride Night – Monday, July 31
TUTS is thrilled to host its fifth annual Pride Night, the official kickoff event for this year’s Vancouver Pride Week! Audiences will enjoy the uproariously funny, yet tender-hearted, Broadway smash hit The Prom, with hilarious hijinks, infectious soundtrack, and uplifting narrative. All seat cushion and programme donations from the night will be matched by TUTS in support of Vancouver Pride Society.
The Prom Dress-up Night – Thursday, August 10
Ever wish you could relive your grad night in a fun and lighthearted way? Or just want an excuse to get dressed up for the night? Come join us at TUTS prom – complete with an uplifting live performance of Broadway’s sparkling musical, The Prom! Come dressed in your finest for this special evening of frivolity and “Zazz” and get ready to dance in the aisles because “Tonight Belongs to You.”