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Community Theatre’s ‘Matilda’ is a show, a star, an experience not to be missed


Las Cruces Community Theatre bills “Matilda, the Musical” as “the story of an extraordinary little girl with extraordinary powers.” That also perfectly describes the performance of Mia Berkson, who played the lead in LCCT’s outstanding production, which continues for two more weekends.

In fact, it describes the entire cast and crew of the show.

Mia was brilliant in every song and every scene.

And Mia’s supporting cast was every bit as grand and great.

Melis Derya White continued a long string of outstanding performances as the evil Miss Trunchbull; Francesca Perez-Wright turned in another great performance as Matilda’s mother, Mrs. Wormwood; Mike Cruz was a fabulously icky, green-haired Mr. Wormwood.

And, oh, my, the contributions to this show from three members of the Castro family!

Bianca Castro was so powerful and fabulous in the much-coveted role of Miss Honey. Her older brother, Luis Castro, choreographed the entire show and nearly stole it in his performance as Rudolpho – especially in the musical number “Loud.” Their younger brother, Julian Castro, was outstanding as the cake-eating Bruce, and especially in the music number “Revolting Children.”

The Bradford sisters, Kayla (Erica/and part of the Little Kids Ensemble) and Maya (Big Kids Ensemble) – the daughters of the talented Amanda Bradford – were both terrific, as were brother Jamin Bever (a terrific couch-sitting, TV-watching, ukulele-playing Michael Wormwood) and sister Charlie (Big Kids Ensemble).

Kudos also to escapologist/entertainer Scott Ludlow and acrobat Sage Drake (also the assistant costume designer), and to Caroline Stapleton as Mrs. Phelps/the Doctor.

I wish I had the space to give the accolades so richly deserved by every member of the cast, which also included Makynzie Barrios, Tanya Camargo, Piper Gandy, Braden Gonzalez, Astrid Johnson, Milagros Medina, Sapphira Roper, Delaney Sivils, Makena Telles, Olivia Vasquez and Zeke Wyatt. This wouldn’t be a great show without every one of them.

When I spoke to Michael Wise, the director of “Matilda, the Musical,” he told me to give “85 percent of the credit” to musical director Lisa Hermanson, choreographer Luis Castro, scenic designer Doug Roby and lighting designer Jessie M. Ortega.

Bravo to all for their outstanding work. But huge credit must also be given to Wise, a great actor, a great teacher and one fine director.

Credit also goes to LCCT Board President Janet Beatty-Payne, “Matilda” costume designer, props master Lennie Brown and stage manager Kaela Salcedo.

“Matilda” has six more performances at LCCT, 313 N. Main St. downtown. Make reservations in advance as the shows will likely sell out. Remaining performances are 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Feb. 17-18 and 24-25, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 19 and 26.

Tickets are $17 for adults, $14 for seniors, students and military and $10 for children.

Call LCCT at 575-523-1200. Visit www.lcctnm.org.