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Elisa Alvarez and Jackie Harrow (Photo Courtesy: Moonlight Cultural Foundation)

Moonlight Youth Theatre Presents Roald Dahl’s ‘James and the Giant Peach Jr.’

Vista CA— Come see something strange unfold right before your very eyes in Moonlight Youth Theatre’s summer production of Roald Dahl’s “James and the Giant Peach Jr.” The magical musical opens Friday, June 23 at 7 p.m. on the AVO Playhouse stage in Vista, CA. The delightfully offbeat production is based on one of Roald Dahl’s most beloved and poignantly quirky stories about a boy, and his insect friends who take on an amazing adventure across the open ocean. This “masterpeach” that features a wickedly tuneful score and a witty and charming book about courage and self-discovery is destined to be a classic. Moonlight Youth Theatre’s “James and the Giant Peach Jr.” runs through Sunday, June 25. Tickets are available online at vistixonline.com and at the door for only $15. For more information, visit moonlightfoundation.com.

When James Henry Trotter is sent by his conniving aunts, Spiker and Sponge, to chop down their old fruit tree, he discovers a magic potion that grows a tremendous peach that rolls into the ocean, and launches a journey of enormous proportions. James befriends a collection of singing insects that ride the giant piece of fruit across the ocean, facing hunger, sharks and plenty of disagreements along the way.

With its captivating musical score by Tony-nominated songwriters, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, and a book by award-winning playwright, Timothy Allen McDonald, “James and the Giant Peach Jr.” tells a story of friendship and the true nature of family. The production first debuted at the Kennedy Center’s prestigious “New Visions New Voices” festival in 2012 and was a festival favorite. Seattle Children’s Theatre’s (SCT) Artistic Director Linda Hartzell promptly scheduled the show for SCT’s 2013-2014 season. Seattle Children’s Theatre presented the world premiere of Roald Dahl’s “James and the Giant Peach” under the direction of Linda Hartzell. The show opened in November 2013 and was both a critical and financial success. The cast album created in April 2015 features Broadway stars, including Megan Hilty, Christian Borle, Skylar Astin, Brian d’Arcy James, Jackie Hoffman, Mary Testa, Luca Padovan, Marc Kudisch, Daniel Breaker, and Sarah Stiles.

The cast for Moonlight Youth Theatre’s “James and the Giant Peach Jr.” features: Noah Baird (James), Josh Bradford (Ladahlord), Kylie Kennard (Spider), Jack Gemmell (Grasshopper), Audrey Deubig (LadyBug), Sean Barnett (Centipede), Will Weitz (Earthworm), Casey Reichenthal (Aunt Spiker), and Luke Casillas (Aunt Sponge), as well as an ensemble of talented actors, singers, and dancers. The production, directed by Becky Cherlin Baird with musical direction by JD Dumas is led by Mike Bradford, Director of Arts Education for Moonlight Cultural Foundation (MCF). Local students also provide support on the production and design teams through the Theatre Internship Program hosted by MCF.

Moonlight Youth Theatre’s interactive internship program is made possible with the support of Moonlight Cultural Foundation and in partnership with the Vista Education Foundation. Students in grades six through 12 who are interested in musical theatre production design are encouraged to apply for the internship program for Moonlight Youth Theatre’s fall production of “Legally Blonde: The Musical.” To apply for the program and for more information, email Mike Bradford at mike@moonlightfoundation.com.

This musical theatre internship program provides students with short-term and long-term opportunities throughout the year to perform hands-on tasks and learn about the tools needed to move forward in a chosen field observing, training, collaborating and shadowing dedicated professionals at an award-winning theatre organization and gain invaluable experience, build a resumé, and make connections.

The following positions are offered through the Moonlight Youth Theatre internship program:

  • Assistant Stage Management Intern
  • Choreography Intern/Dance Captain
  • Costume Design Intern
  • Director Intern
  • Lighting Design Intern
  • Make-Up Design Intern
  • Musical Direction Intern
  • Orchestra Intern
  • Production Management Intern
  • Properties Design Intern
  • Sound Design Intern
  • Stage Management Intern

Along with acquiring invaluable skills, professional development and networking opportunities, Moonlight Youth Theatre interns are compensated with complimentary tickets to Moonlight Stage Productions and Moonlight Cultural Foundation performances. Interns receive community service hours as well as be considered for job opportunities in future Moonlight productions.

Moonlight Youth Theatre produces shows at both Moonlight Amphitheatre and AVO Playhouse. Each year, more than 400 youth come from all over San Diego County to participate in the musical theatre internship program, master classes, workshops and other special performance groups such as the annual traveling Holiday Show Choir.


Roald Dahl’s “James and the Giant Peach Jr.”

June 23 – June 25, 2017

Curtain at 7:00 p.m.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Ticket price is $15.

Web: moonlightfoundation.com

Box Office Phone: 760-724-2110

Tickets: vistixonline.com


Established in 1974, Moonlight Cultural Foundation is the premier 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts organization dedicated to promoting culture and diversity through theatre. The foundation’s main initiatives are youth theatre training programs and supporting the City of Vista’s Moonlight Stage Productions and its annual summer season of Broadway musicals. With financial, marketing, and program support from the foundation, Moonlight Stage Productions is regarded as one of Southern California’s most professional and mature arts institutions, and position Moonlight Amphitheatre as a cultural destination location.

Moonlight Cultural Foundation’s sponsors include: Muriel & Hans Schiff, Forte For Children, Issa Family Foundation, Tri-City Medical Center, Datron World Communications, Modern Builders Supply, County of San Diego, Pacific Marine Credit Union, Vista Valley Country Club, Lili & Art McIntire, Atlantic & Pacific Management, JWD Incorporated, Scripps, Nordson, and Scatena Daniels Communications.

For more information on supporting Moonlight Cultural Foundation and preserving the joy of live theatre for future generations to come, visit www.moonlightfoundation.com, the foundation’s Facebook page or call 760-630-7650.