Attention casting directors: When searching for a girl to play Matilda, look no further than Port Moody.
In 2016, 10-year-old Jaime MacLean — who graduated from Heritage Woods Secondary in June — won the lead role in the Mirvish stage production of Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical in Toronto and around the U.S.
Now, Theatre Under the Stars (TUTS) has tapped another Port Moody girl to star in its summer-long show: Siggi Kaldestad.
Luckily, it’s a performance the 11-year-old student knows well.
“I listen to it a lot,” she told the Tri-City News after her Grade 5 farewell ceremony at Glenayre Elementary.
“I really like the songs.”
In February, Kaldestad learned she clinched the lead role after auditioning for the character.
She describes Matilda as “funny, fun and smart” and a girl who dares to dream despite the obstacles before her.
The story follows Matilda from her home, where she lives with her awful parents, to her equally awful school, where she meets Miss Honey, a nurturing teacher who takes a shine to Matilda and her magical talents.
Last year, the musical by writer Dennis Kelly and songwriter Tim Minchin was turned into a movie with Emma Thompson as Miss Agatha Trunchbull; the 1996 film was with Danny DeVito as Harry Wormwood.
Kaldestad, who has seen both flicks, read the novel and watched the Arts Club Theatre production in 2018, said she’s following her older sister’s steps in musical theatre: Kaldestad recently wrapped up her third year at the Lindbjerg Academy of Performing Arts in Coquitlam.
“I think I like being on the stage and I love singing, especially Disney songs,” she said, adding, “I’m super excited to be playing Matilda.”
Meanwhile, Kaldestad will have two other Tri-City actors with her on stage — also making their TUTS debuts.
Grayson Besworth, a student at Baker Drive Elementary, plays Eric while Kadia Kindersley, a Dr. Charles Best Secondary graduate who just finished her final year in Capilano University’s musical theatre program, is in the ensemble and as The Acrobat.
Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical starts previews on July 8 and runs until Aug. 26 on alternating nights with TUTS’ other performance, The Prom. Matilda is suitable for viewers ages six and up due to darker themes, exaggerated bullying and coarse language. For tickets, visit tuts.ca.