Aiden Haren

When Limelight Performing Arts opens “Diary of a Wimpy Kid the Musical” on April 6, a North Central Phoenix 12-year-old, Aiden Haren, will play the leading role.

“Wimpy Kid” brings Jeff Kinney’s beloved book series to the stage with a 60-minute production that transports audiences to the hilarious and relatable world of Greg Heffley, an average middle schooler with big dreams and an even bigger imagination, as he navigates life’s ups and downs with his quirky friends and family by his side.

“I read the books and saw all of the movies when I was younger, and it’s really cool to play a character I know and have grown up with,” said Aiden, who plays the role of Greg. “I’m also in middle school now, and I can relate to the story!”

“Something audiences will love is that the musical follows the storylines in the books so closely,” added Emma England, Limelight’s artistic director. “Seeing characters like Greg, Rowley, Patty and Fregley come to life will be magical for kids.”

“The show centers on Greg’s battle to find his place,” added England. “He is constantly trying to figure out his social standing in middle school and is determined not to be at the bottom of the popularity chart.”

Greg spends much of the show being embarrassed about his best friend, Rowley. He worries that Rowley’s utter lack of coolness will knock Greg down a few rungs on the social ladder. By the end of the show, Greg recognizes and appreciates the friend he has in Rowley.

For Aiden, there’s an important lesson here.

“Friendships are more important than popularity,” he said. “Having good friends is way more fun than winning a popularity contest.”

With opening day just a few days away, Aiden and his cast mates are excited to share their hard work with audiences.

“There are so many funny songs and scenes in the show,” he said. “I think the audience will enjoy the comedy and seeing a story they know come to life on stage. The cast is amazing!”

Performances will take place at Limelight’s Artspace black box theater, 511 W. Guadalupe Road in Gilbert. Tickets for “Wimpy Kid” can be purchased on Limelight’s website, The run includes evening and matinee performances.


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