I love the story of Matilda, having read the book and seen the 1996 movie adaptation several times, so I had high expectations for the musical.
From the show description: The Tony Award®-winning hit, Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical! is the story of an extraordinary little girl who dares to take a stand and change her destiny. When she has finally had enough of her unscrupulous parents and tyrannical headmistress, she enlists the help of her friends—and favorite teacher, Miss Honey—and bravely takes matters into her own hands to become the biggest little hero.
Before the production started, looking at the set alone, I could tell I would not be disappointed. The whimsical design immediately transported me to a setting full of childhood imagination and storytelling, with its airy display of large letter-bearing tiles and bookcases. Throughout the performance, the set seamlessly transforms from Matilda’s home, school, and library scenes.
The story of Matilda is ultimately about childhood empowerment, turning unfair circumstances from tragedies to triumphs. One of the first songs, “Naughty,” is performed beautifully by Chloe Van De Graaf, as Matilda, showcasing that we all have the power to rewrite our own story.
Overall, I can’t say enough good things about the quality of the performances, especially the young actors, most of which come out of the nationally recognized ZACH Pre-Professional Program. Other standout performances include Laura Lyman Payne as Miss Honey and J. Robert “Jimmy” Moore, as the scary villain, Ms. Trunchbull.
Matilda is full of wit, heartfelt moments, and strong character portrayals. Both my 5-year-old daughter and myself were captivated throughout the two hour and 30 minute show; it was the perfect production for her first experience of a musical on the ZACH Theater main stage.
Zach Theatre’s production of Matilda the Musical! runs through May 12 in Zach’s Topfer Theatre. This play is recommended for those aged 6 and up, with a minimum age of 3 for admittance. Grab tickets here.