Broadway Review: Matilda

Show Title: Matilda

Director: Matthew Warchus

Music and Lyrics: Tim Minchin

Book: Dennis Kelly (Adapted from the book by Roald Dahl)

My Rating: 3.5 Stars

Content Rating: Kid-friendly (good for adults too!)

Cast: Paige Brady, Lesli Margherita, Matt Harrington, Jill Paice, Christopher Sieber, Karen Adridge

Theater: The Shubert Theater

Should I pay full price for a ticket: I did, and had fantastic seats. I don’t know which seats are reserved for rush or TKTS.

I vaguely remember seeing the Matilda movie when I was younger. Vaguely. Therefore, I didn’t go into the show with any pre-conceived notions about what it should or shouldn’t be. One thing it is: a lot of fun.

When you come into the theater, you instantly are absorbed by one of the most creative and fascinating sets I’ve ever seen:

I was very impressed with the kids in the show (there’s an army of them). They do an amazing job carrying a lot of the musical, although most of the more emotional parts are handled by the adults (namely Miss Honey, although Matilda has quite a few serious moments).

I wish there had been more big song and dance numbers. The best part of the show (visually and musically) was the song “Revolting Children”, which is the last number. It’s got such high energy and is musically very exciting. There were one or two other numbers similar, but I didn’t love the score of this one.

Matilda deals with a lot of abuse from her parents. In some ways I don’t recommend this show for kids because it really does deal with some serious issues, but then again, the script is written with kids in mind and is led by a child actor. There are plenty of heart-warming moments, and the audience can’t help but adore the little girl who loves reading and doesn’t take crap from anyone. Matilda has a solo in Act 2 called “Quiet” that was especially impressive; you could tell the entire theater was hanging on her words, and she couldn’t have been more than 10.

While they are terrible, Matilda’s parents are also hilarious.

Christopher Sieber played Miss Trunchbull, and I think I laughed at almost everything he did. Every time he came onstage I laughed. His performance was hysterical and so fun and yes he’s a guy playing a woman. Just so that you aren’t surprised when you go see it. I didn’t think I’d like it because I’m not a fan of cross-dressing, but this was hilarious. So even though he’s playing the big bad, he has a lot of fun with it.

There are lots of magical sets and props in this show, but I won’t give anything away. I was lucky enough to get a comprehensive backstage tour from a friend who works in the costume department for the show, and let me tell you, there’s a lot of cool stuff going on in this show. Definitely lots of Broadway magic to watch.

While Matilda is a fun show and definitely worth seeing at least once, it wasn’t my favorite. Still very entertaining and inspiring to see such talented young people.

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