Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre is offering refunds to patrons disappointed by a delayed — and then incomplete — preview performance of a touring production of the Broadway smash, “Matilda.”

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The first preview performance in Seattle of the Broadway touring musical “Matilda,” which occurred Tuesday night, Aug. 18, at the 5th Avenue Theatre, ran into major technical difficulties and could not be completed.

The elaborately staged and Tony Award-honored production, which drew an audience of about 1,800 patrons, began more than an hour late and was interrupted by technical glitches throughout the first act. When the issues could not be resolved during the second act, the performance was suspended.

According to 5th Avenue publicist Bridget Summers, the show could not be completed in part because the numerous child actors in the cast of “Matilda,” based on the popular Roald Dahl novel for young readers, have a strict curfew.

A Seattle Times reader complained that the delays were handled badly, with audience members left waiting on the street and in the crowded lobby for long periods, without sufficient explanation and updates on what was going on.

5th Avenue managing director Bernadine C. Griffin said the company very much regrets the situation, and explained that she apologized to the crowd on several occasions.

“We value our patrons very much and want to take care of them,” she said. The theater is offering a full refund to anyone who attended the performance. To request a refund, call 206-625-1900 or send an email to

Wednesday’s preview of “Matilda” went on without a hitch, said Griffin. The production officially opens on Thursday, Aug. 20, and continues at the 5th Avenue through Sept. 6.