There is no better “feel good” story than that of someone who has never been loved in their entire life, finding all of the love they deserve in the end. Matilda the Musical, directed by Matthew Warchus, beautifully tells the story of Matilda. Growing up without love or understanding from her parents, Matilda escapes into a world of books and storytelling. Along the way, she meets Miss Honey, a teacher willing to give her all of the love she never had, and Miss Trunchbull, the evil headmistress of Matilda’s school. By using amazing choreography, breathtaking sets, and of course, an abundance of talent, Matilda the Musical is capturing the hearts of audiences everywhere.
With this show compiling mainly of children, the mass of talent in the production is mind boggling. The roles of Mr. and Mrs.Trunchbull, played wonderfully by Matt Harrington and Darcy Stewart, offer comedic relief throughout the show all the while being 2 of the antagonists of the show. Stewart lightened the crowd with the hilarious and impressive dance number “Loud” and Harrington broke the fourth wall wonderfully at the top of Act One before enlightening us with the number “Telly”. One of the showstoppers of the evening however, was “Naughty” performed by Jenna Weir at this performance. Weir’s performance as Matilda was inspiring. Her young quirkiness to the role gave the character Matilda the spunk she needed! Throughout the performance, Weir continually amazed the audience as she belted out song after song, all the while never losing Matilda’s bravery. The audience left the show feeling as if they could conquer the world!
Not to be out shone by the amazing cast, set designer Rob Howell awed the audience with beautiful sets. Throughout the entire performance, walls with letters hidden on them were always present, one could spend the entire show searching for all of the letters on the set, and still never find them all! Matching Howell’s set designing, choreographer Peter Darling used the children to his advantage during numbers. With the lively number “Revolting Children” Howell had the actors dancing on, over, and under desks, and with more nostalgic showstoppers like “When I Grow Up” he took the audience's breath away with the use of swings descending down from the ceiling and a slide from the back of the stage, creating a playground. The audience “ood” and ahd” as the actors seemed to almost soar over their heads as they swung over the audience. Not only was the cast immensely talented, but the creative team was also made up of pure geniusness.
Even though all of the technical elements looked beautiful, there were still some hiccups with the sound. Several times at the beginning of the show, microphones would cut in and out, and a painfully loud screeching noise came over the speakers during “The Chokey Chant”. But with the mishaps that were happening sound wise, one would almost not have even noticed it, as the cast did not allow the problems to faze their performance in the least, and they were almost forgotten about instantly due to the wonderful performance.
Matilda the Musical shares the story of a little girl who craved love in her life, finding true happiness. Matilda teaches us all that “even though we are little, we can do a lot”! With all of the amazing performances, sets, and choreography, Matilda is a must see! Matilda the Musical is running at the Orpheum through April 2nd.