Serving the community since 1970

Shafter Theater shines in 'Matilda'

The Shafter Theater put on its production of "Matilda" last weekend and drew large crowds for every performance. The play was directed by Lauren Givens and Chad Givens, director of the Shafter Theater.

This is the first production for the company, which is a nonprofit that, according to Givens, is faith-based and is working to entertain the city in a positive way.

The cast was headed by 8-year-old Esttella Marie Loaiza, a veteran of three shows so far in her career. Loaiza played Matilda with a great amount of spunk, and was sharp-witted and loveable.

Mark Scialabba, who is also a veteran of the stage, including his portrayal of Crutchie in the hit "Newsies," was a man that you love to hate in his role of Mr. Wormwood. He had a terrific accent and played the role with comedy smarminess.

Cassandra Lopez stole every scene she was in as the hilarious Mrs. Wormwood. Lopez ate up the scenery in a delightful way in the role. In the play, the Wormwoods are not thrilled with having a daughter. They think that Matilda is horrible for loving to read and learn.

The Wormwoods have an ally in Headmistress Agatha Trunchbull. Trunchbull was played by Dessie Hight-Claffey. Some of the funniest scenes were between Trunchbull and teacher Miss Honey. Miss Honey is played by Jamie Kirschenmann, in his first show.

The cast was rounded out by a very talented group that sang, danced and acted their way into everyone's hearts.

The show was also enhanced by having a live band performing. The orchestra was led by David Bloemhof, who also played keys. Meg Wise was also on the keyboard, with Randy Toews on the trombone, Hunter Scott was on bass guitar, Aidan Scully on the drums, Patience Camacho played the clarinet, Ben Wilson on the trumpet, Nathan Delgado on the saxophone and Sean Baligit on guitar.

 

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