By Jill Fox
Two Parkland dads have gone from singing in their driveways to performing on stage with their children in Matilda, the latest production by Coral Springs-based children’s theatre school, Broadway Bound.
Dr. Todd Rodman, better known for his roles as a local chiropractor and on the wiffle ball field, landed the part of Russian mafia leader, Sergei, alongside his children in the musical.
“It’s fun to have new challenges and learn new accents,” said Rodman. “I’m excited to be on stage with my kids.”
Rob Pulsifer, whose daughter Ellie plays Matilda herself, is also trying out a new skill — flamenco dancing.
In addition to taking one ballroom dance class before his wedding, this is a first for the Executive Vice President at Hill York Service.
“He’s dancing all around the house,” said Ellie, 10. “And I love that I get to be his acting coach.”
Rodman’s son, Jack, 11, is also trying something new. He was cast as Miss Trunchbull, a character historically played by a male on Broadway.
Jack said he found it hard to prepare because it’s so different than any other part he’s portrayed. His sister Reese, 10, is excited to play an acrobat and thinks it’s cool to be on stage with her dad.
“I like hearing his accent,” she said.
Postponed multiple times due to Covid-19 restrictions, the cast of 28 has been looking forward to putting on the musical since their virtual auditions last August.
“We had every obstacle around,” said Broadway Bound Founder, Nadine Shapiro.
From zoom rehearsals to practicing in small groups with masks, countless temperature checks, and a lot of socially distanced outdoor rehearsals, Shapiro said they did the best they could to make it work.
“When they started, it was hybrid – some kids were virtual, some in class, and the show kept getting pushed back,” said Rodman’s wife, Lorin.
Originally slated for December and postponed for some time, Matilda will have four performances at the Wick Theater in Boca Raton. The shows have different casts to allow an opportunity for the main actors and ensemble to rotate. For two performances, Matilda will be played by Skyleigh Lange, a sixth-grade student at Somerset Parkland Academy, and for the other two — Ellie.
The theater will follow Covid protocols with open seats in between each party, and everyone must wear a mask, including the actors.
Shapiro said, “For every single child who has worked so hard, I am so excited to finally see this come to life.”
The Wick Theater is located at 7901 N Federal Hwy in Boca Raton. Tickets for February 26, 27, and 28 can be purchased here for $30 each.
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- Jill Fox is an Emmy Award-winning writer and producer. She has worked in public relations and television for over 20 years. Fox lives in Parkland with her husband and their two children.
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