Roald Dahl’s ‘Matilda the Musical’ Coming to Kahilu Theatre Aug. 6-8

  • Actors in ‘Matilda the Musical’ rehearse for their August performances at Kahilu Theatre. (Steve Roby/Special to West Hawaii Today)

  • Carys Kresny and young actors in ‘Matilda the Musical’ rehearse for their August performances.

  • Candie Duggan mans the piano at a rehearsal for Kahilu Theatre’s presentation of ‘Matilda the Musical,’ to be performed Aug. 6-8. (Steve Roby/Courtesy photos)

The Tony Award-winning “Matilda The Musical” opens at the Kahilu Theatre Friday, Aug. 6 at 7 p.m., with shows Saturday, Aug. 7 (3 and 7 p.m.), and Sunday, Aug. 8 at 3 p.m.

“Matilda” is about a precocious young girl with the gift of telekinesis, who loves reading, overcomes obstacles caused by her family and school, and helps her teacher reclaim her life.


Roald Dahl published his renowned book in 1988 and it was made into a popular movie in 1996 and then a Tony-winning musical in 2010. This will be the first production of Matilda on the Big Island.

There are 40 cast members, and the age range is from 6 to 60. Carys Kresny is the choreographer, and Candie Duggan is the music director. Addison Lathrop, a local student, plays Matilda.

Matilda was to have opened last June. Casting was completed, and rehearsals were ready to begin at the Kahilu, but the show was pushed back because of COVID-19. Chuck Gessert, the Kahilu’s executive director and also the musical’s director, explained the challenges in bringing this musical to production.

“Since we had to reschedule the show several times, we were concerned that young members of the cast had grown up and now looked different,” Gessert said. “I called everyone in, and thankfully ‘Matilda’ hadn’t grown an inch.” This will be the 20th musical Gessert has directed and his second at the Kahilu.

“Carys Kresny is from the University of Notre Dame, and I’m really impressed with the choreography she’s brought to the show,” Gessert noted. “I really think the audience will love the show!”

Safety protocols will be followed at all performances, which includes a temperature check before entering, everyone must wear mask and stay in their designated seats. There will be no intermission.

In-person tickets are limited and available online at There will be no livestream of the show available on Kahilu TV.

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