March’s Musical of the Month: Matilda

Julia Stanski, Editormatilda pic (1)

If you remember Roald Dahl’s books from your childhood- The BFG, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Witches– this show will bring back beloved memories. If you don’t, it will open up a whole new world. Matilda the Musical, adapted by Dennis Kelly and Tim Minchin, is a gem of a new show, smart, hilarious and touching.  It stars precocious 5-year-old Matilda, whose extraordinary intelligence and imagination allow her to fight her way out of an apathetic home life and rescue her school from a tyrannous principal.  It opened in London in 2011 and on Broadway in 2013, winning seven Olivier awards and 5 Tonys.  It has a quintessentially British charm, but its playful sweetness and tender depictions of childhood and growing up are universal. Musical highlights include Matilda’s philosophy, ‘Naughty’, the epic dance number ‘Loud’ performed by her mother, and the gorgeously resonant Act 2 opener, ‘When I Grow Up’.

One of the best things about this show is the star opportunities it gives to amazing young performers. The role of Matilda is rotated between four actresses aged 9-11; she carries the show so much that eight performances a week would be impossible. This show also brought the incredible Lesli Margherita to Broadway, for which we are eternally grateful.  (If you’re ever bored, watch her vlogs here. They’re hilarious. )  This is a great show for kids, but also so much more. With an intelligent book, delicately beautiful score and wicked sense of humour, it seems likely to run on Broadway for a long time, and definitely deserves a listen.

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