NEW YORK, N.Y. (September 2019): “Matthew’s wish was who he is, and to see it happen for him was totally over the top amazing,” said his mom Lynn. Matthew Murphy is captivated by Broadway shows, and was recently enchanted seeing actress Leslie Kritzer perform live on stage. While entertaining in performing arts is his life’s passion, he’s been challenged with juvenile dermatomyositis (JDM), a rare inflammatory illness causing muscle weakness and additional complications. Kids Wish Network, a children’s charity that grants wishes for kids with life-threatening illnesses, gave Matthew his awe-inspiring moment of being on Beetlejuice’s Broadway stage. And he’d be in extraordinary company having his meaningful dream come true with Leslie Kritzer.
His wish was revealed to him at school in front of his biggest fans. The spotlight was on Matthew when the principal shared his big news during their broadcasted announcements. It was a whirlwind of excitement, he was going to be center stage the following afternoon!
The next day it was showtime… his family arrived at Broadway’s Winter Garden Theatre for his once-in-a-lifetime Beetlejuice experience. Watching the performance was even more dazzling from Orchestra seats. After the show, Matthew and his family were taken backstage for an exclusive tour. He was warmly welcomed by cast and crew members who all anticipated his visit. When Leslie Kritzer arrived, she greeted Matthew’s family with a big smile and hugs. She spent time getting to know Matthew, and he also felt like a star being interviewed by Kritzer for her vlog on Broadway.com. After finding out that he aspired to be in stage management, she took him to meet stage managers, and further thrilled Matthew introducing him to fellow cast members Alex Brightman, Rob McClure and Kerry Butler. “The whole experience from start to finish was literally a dream come true,” said his mom.
Kids Wish Network Executive Director Tam Lai said, “We’re so appreciative to everyone at Beetlejuice, with a very special thank you to Leslie Kritzer for her kindness and taking time to make Matthew’s wish more than he could have dreamed of.”
Kids Wish Network is a national charitable organization dedicated to infusing hope, creating happy memories, and improving the quality of life for children with life-threatening conditions and struggling with life-altering situations. KWN provides for trip expenses, meals, accommodations and additional spending monies to all wish families whenever traveling as applicable. Visit www.kidswishnetwork.org to learn about our different programs, and refer a child now.