The Children's Theatre has a reputation of putting on fantastic shows for children, many of which draw their inspiration from children's books. This being known it is not a big surprise that their production of Tim Minchin and Dennis Kelly's adaptation of Roald Dahl's Matilda is a top notch, but these high expectations don't stop the show from being an absolute pleasure to watch.
This version of the story of a gifted girl, not appreciated by her parents, with a penchant for revenge who finds strength and support from her school teach and friends in the face of the evil Miss Tunchbull is not a newcomer to stages. It has been playing in London's West End since 2010, had a healthy run on Broadway and has had a National Tour in 2017 (see my review here).
The Children's Theatre's production seems to escalate the childlike fun and awe that the show can provide with it's over the top costumes by Helen Q Huang, whimsy filled set by Scott Davis, and transporting lighting and sound design by Philip S Rosenberg and Sten Severson respectively.
The cast as well both young and old brought deliciously over the top performances that transported us into Roald Dahl's tale. The role of Matilda is shared by Lillian Hochman, Audrey Mojica and Sofia Salmela. I had the pleasure of seeing Sofia Salmela, who is also pictures in the images, who was able to hold and demand the stage just as well as any adult professional. Dean Hold and Autumn Ness as Mr. and Mrs. Wormwood or Matilda's parents were comic highlight's of the show and serve as a perfect foil to our hero Matilda. China Brickey as Miss Honey embodies the teacher that everyone wishes they had and you will find yourself rooting for just as much as you are for Matilda. Emily Gunyou Halaas as Miss Trunchbull was the highlight of the show, the kind of villian that you just love to hate, and want to see more of on stage.
Matilda is the perfect show for anyone who has ever felt trapped by their life circumstances, or loves to see a lot of talented children and adults perform in a musical, or someone who is just a bookwork. Matilda is running at the Children's Theatre until June 23rd. Click here for more information on the show and how to get tickets. And click here in order to get tickets for Children Theatre's young professionals nostalgia night.
*Photos by Dan Norman