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'Matilda the Musical' to open tonight with Westchester actress Sophia Gennusa
"Matilda the Musical" will have its official Broadway premiere tonight, and Westchester’s Sophia Gennusa, one of the four young actresses who shares the title role, will take the stage for the opening night performance. (She is pictured above, second from left.)
A random drawing overseen by "Matilda" director Matthew Warchus was held April 3 at Sardi’s restaurant in Manhattan to determine which of the four leads would perform opening night, and Sophia’s name was chosen. (You can watch the video here.)
Before she was tapped to become a Broadway star, the 9-year-old actress had appeared in “The Nutcracker” at Purchase College Conservatory of Dance and played Puck in a children’s version of “Midsummer Night’s Dream.”
According to The Associated Press, Sophia found out she landed the role around Halloween. “I went into my room, locked the door and started screaming and running around in circles,” she said of her reaction to the news.
Sophia added that seeing “The Little Mermaid” on Broadway was a turning point for her. “I knew then that was what I wanted to do. This is a big opportunity, and I just took it when it came.”
Sophia and a trio of 10-year-old actresses – Milly Shapiro, Oona Laurence and Bailey Ryon – will take turns playing the lead role in the Broadway show, based on the classic Roald Dahl book about a young girl who has magical powers.