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Moonlight’s Matilda

Adventures With Attitude!, Events, Every Day is an Adventure, Living a Royal Life, Out and About, Plays, Productions & Concerts, Raves & Rotten Reviews

The Moonlight

Wednesday evening we went to the opening night performance of Matilda at the Vista Moonlight Amphitheater.  We have been season ticket-holders for about 3 years now, and before that I attended a good number of plays there over the years.  If you aren’t aware of this theater, you are missing out on a true GEM in the North County area. (I’m constantly amazed at how many of my friends have never heard of this theater. Where have you been, people?) Every play that we have seen here has been superb. The last play, The Producers had people who had been involved in the BROADWAY production of the play.  It doesn’t get any better than this folks!

One thing I love about The Moonlight is that it is an outdoor theater.  There aren’t too many of them around the San Diego area.  You have a choice of 3 types of seats- regular theater seating (chairs), general lawn, which is at the top of the hill and first-come type of seating on the grass, or the reserved lawn tiers,  which are between the theater seating rows.  I LOVE the reserved lawn tier seats!  It is fake turf, so no grass or dirt stains….. but you get an area about 6 ft deep and as wide as a “seat” so that you can picnic at your place before the play! They give you low folding chairs to sit on, so you can enjoy your picnic and the performance, without blocking the regular theater seats behind you. We purchase 4 seats each season, so that at each play we can bring another couple that we’d like to get to know a little better and enjoy a picnic dinner before the play.  The tickets at Moonlight are some of the least expensive play tickets you will find in San Diego county, so even purchasing 4 tickets per play is STILL a raving deal! Their highest priced tickets are under $60.00,the reserved lawn tiers under $30.00 each, and the general lawn tickets come in under $20.00.  I think when you buy season tickets it comes to less than that price!  Where in San Diego can you purchase play tickets for that price?  Again, if you haven’t been to The Moonlight, check it out. There are still 2 plays this season!


Now, on to Matilda.  I’m going to admit, I knew NOTHING about the play, and wondered if this was just going to be a play for children.  NOT AT ALL!  The minute the first actors come on the stage you are enthralled!  It takes place in England, so everyone in the cast has an English accent. The talented Vanessa Dinning was the dialect coach, and as always she did a fabulous job working with the cast that is made up predominantly of children. (Vanessa happens to be a family friend, but she does the dialect coaching for most San Diego area plays when there is an English accent involved, and does a superb job of it!)

More about the cast later, but it’s the STORY LINE of Matilda that I SO SO SO love! The character of Matilda comes from an abusive household, with parents who have not a bit of kindness or love toward her. There is also a tyrannical headmistress who is awful to Matilda. But this story shows that no matter what your circumstances are, you can succeed. Matilda is a brilliant little girl, with some special powers, and books are her refuge.  Matilda sings a songs that says “Nobody but me is gonna change my story, so sometimes you’ve got to be a little bit naughty.”  This is the childhood version of “Living a Royal Life” that I talk about all the time.  In SPITE of terrible circumstances, Matilda has the courage to do what is right, and makes the best, for herself, and those around her.  She refuses to be a victim. She stands up for herself- in spite of what the outcome may be.  She realizes that no one is going to do it for her, she has to make the best of her life. I wish that more of our society would do this for themselves!  (I get REALLY tired of the victim mentality lately……….. )

The Cast

I loved every minute of this play.  The darling young actress who plays Matilda (Charity Rose @CharityRose) does a brilliant job in the role! She couldn’t be better! The whole cast, singing, dancing and performing the whole she-bang with English accents are beyond compare.  One of my favorite area actors, Randall Hickman, plays Miss Trunchbull.  He has made a name for himself playing the evil female parts in a few plays locally, including Ursulla in Moonlight’s “The Little Mermaid” a few years ago.  I LOVE his acting!

The director is Jamie Tocellini and everything I’ve seen him involved with has been amazing!

Everything You Need to Know About The Moonlight…

The play would be great for kids (probably about 8 and up) who you would like to introduce to live theater, but don’t feel that you need any children with you to fit in and enjoy this play.  The large majority of the audience was adults when we were there, and everyone around was exclaiming how fabulous they thought it was.

Matilda is running through August 3rd.  Do yourself a favor and get some tickets to go see it.  You will be glad you did!

Then, check out tickets for the other two plays this season, West Side Story August 14-31 and Victor Victoria September 11-28.

I am SO excited about next year’s season, which is going to have 5 different  performances, and includes An American In Paris, Something Rotten, Cinderella, Ragtime and Kinky Boots!  4 of the 5 plays are totally new to me, so I am thrilled for the 2020 season!



“Having our Say”… Don’t Miss It!

My Humble Opinion, Plays, Productions & Concerts, Raves & Rotten Reviews, Uncategorized

The play has been extended by a week! You can see here how authentic the 2 performers look as the Delany Sisters, in Having Our Say, The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years! Don’t miss it! Get there by June 18th!

“Having Our Say, The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years”

I had the pleasure of seeing “Having Our Say, The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years”, at the New Village Arts Theatre in Carlsbad just a few days ago.  It is toward the end of the run, but you still have time to get there and see it. Luckily, they just extended the close by a week, and it is now playing through June 18th. I encourage you to RUN…don’t walk to get yourself to this inspiring production.  You will be happy that you did!

You may remember when the Delany Sisters’ book came out a number a years ago.  Their book came out in 1993,(although, if you had asked me, I would have guessed it being published about 5 years ago.  THAT is how out of touch I am with the passage of time!) It told about their life as daughters of a former slave, and the changes they had seen throughout their 100 years.  When the book came out it was on the best seller’s list for over 100 weeks, and was quite a sensation. It’s no wonder that it was, if the play is any indication of what made the book so interesting and well received. That book has had over 93 editions of it published, since it first came out.

New Village Arts Theater

If you have not had the pleasure of attending a performance at this charming, small, local theater, this is your opportunity.  The venue is small enough (under 250 seats) that there literally is not a bad seat in the house.  With only 6 rows, and as wide as the stage, you feel a part of each production there.

For “The Delany Sisters'” the set is perfect and well thought out.  You feel as though you have entered Sadie and Bessie’s home, and are sitting down “for a visit.”  Every detail of the set is done to perfection, right down to the floor, which appears to be hardwood, but on closer inspection looks like it was handpainted, line by line, right down to the knots in the wood, by a talented set artist.

The whole play is done in the same set, by only 2 actresses, Silvia M’Lafi Thompson, playing “Bessie” Delany, and Milena (Sellers) Phillips, playing “Sadie” Delany.  Although they have donned gray wigs, and clothing appropriate for ladies of a VERY mature age, they didn’t go with lines and makeup to pull off the part.  Instead, the two use the skill of moving their bodies, and facial expressions in a way that portrays the 2 older ladies, and they do it to perfection!

Listening to a conversation between 2 people on stage for over 2 hours could be monotonus and might be likely to put you to sleep, but not when the discussion is a lesson steeped in our country’s history, and executed by such skilled performers. There is just enough humor and spicy conversation added in to keep you alert and waiting for the next story to develop.

Both sisters definitely have different personalities, which are obvious from the start.  As Bessie, herself puts it so aptly, “Sadie is sugar and I’m the spice.”

In one of the scenes, the two women are carrying on their discussion while preparing their deceased father’s favorite meal, in honor of his birthday. They are cooking up macaroni and cheese and ambrosia, all of which looked so delicious we had to go out after the play and grab a bite to eat! The set kitchen reminded me ever so much of my own grandmother’s kitchen that I had a pang, remembering wistfully the times back in Illinois when, as a child, I would watch her cook, as she told me stories about her own life.

Program front, from the play

The front of the program from Having Our Say, The Delany Sisters First 100 Years. Lucky for YOU, the run has been extended!

Reliving History, Spicy Stories and All!

One of the more interesting – and spicy stories, was that their grandmother and grandfather were never able to marry, due to the fact that their grandmother was 1/4 black, and their grandfather was white.  Because of her having a bit of black blood, they were unable to marry, so their grandfather built a home right next to his, with a path they could go back and forth on to be together.  The church wanted to kick their grandmother out, but the pastor stuck up for her saying that in her heart they were a committed couple, it was only the law that prohibited them from marriage.

Jim Crow laws, prejudice, strength, humor and courage are all portrayed in this story of two women, both over 100 years old, who had lived together their whole lives.  When discussing the fact that neither had ever married,  they chuckle that this is possibly the reason for their longevity! They stated that they never married, so they never had husbands to worry them to death!

After seeing this intriguing play, I am inspired to get the book and read each and every detail of the stories shared.  I’m sure there is a depth to the history and stories  which is skimmed over in the play.

Again, I encourage you to Run… don’t Walk, and get yourself to this provocative production, while there is still time.  While you are there, you may want to purchase season tickets, because I have found  the quality of plays at this theater are always top notch.  You will want to come back, and soon!

Ticket info

New Village Arts is located at 2787 State Street, Carlsbad CA 92008