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2013 Tony Winner

2013 Tony Winner

Rejoice. The children's revolution has arrived on these shores, and it is even more glorious than we were promised!

Ben Brantley, The New York Times

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BWW Reviews: MATILDA is Sensational - Now thru August 15!

Get up off your couch and stop watching TV. Run past Miss Trunchbull's chokey and Miss Honey's shack and go see Matilda the Musical! This Tony award-winning musical is inspiring and uplifting and has just a hint of magic. This is the perfect show for families of all ages - especially if you have a very special young girl in your family. It's all about the power of imagination and using your smarts to fight back against evil. Playing now through August 15, Matilda the Musical will inspire you to do what's right even if it's hard.

Matilda the Musical tells the story of an extraordinary girl who dreams of a better life. Armed with a vivid imagination and a sharp mind, she dares to take a stand and change her own destiny. The musical's narrative centers on Matilda (played this night by the amazing Mabel Tyler), a precocious 5-year-old girl who loves reading, overcomes obstacles caused by her family and school, and helps her teacher, Miss Honey (a sweet Jennifer Blood) to reclaim her life.

Hodges & Hodges were brimming with childlike anticipation as we sat down in the theatre. The set (by Rob Howell) was filled with wooden blocks with letters, numbers, and shapes pulled right out of childhood. The blocks spelled out words like escape, empty, chains, and punish, but also had artist and heart. We were ready for Matilda.

Nick: This was one of my favorite movies as a child so I couldn't wait to see it. I knew it was going to be different, but I was still excited all the same!

Linda: This was a whole new experience for me as I've never seen the movie version, so I saw it fresh.

Nick: I enjoyed the first song "Miracle" about how most parents seem to think that their child is perfect in every single way - a little miracle. I found it highly amusing because I work with kids and bump into a parent every now and again who truly believes their mean-spirited child is perfect in every way and would NEVER break the rules.

Linda: Okay, Mr. Trunchbull! Tell us what you really think.

Nick: Alright, alright. All I'm saying is the song speaks the truth!

Linda: Yes, the whole show is about truth and the power of your imagination to help you through difficult times. Matilda has the biggest imagination of all, weaving intricate tales that she tells to Mrs. Phelps, the librarian. Ora Jones is outstanding as the librarian.

Nick: Jones was quite funny and she played the role wonderfully. She blended curiosity and wonder with her maternal feelings well.

Linda: Speaking of right-for-the-role, Bryce Ryness as Miss Agatha Trunchbull brought the house down. I so love a good villain and Ryness was wonderfully evil. He had nuanced character attributes and amazing comedic timing.

Nick: He was a fantastic comic relief. The ribbon twirling dance number in "The Hammer" was done with such seriousness and honesty that I could not stop laughing! And in opposition to that when Trunchbull grabbed a little girl by her pigtails and started to swing her in circles off the ground I was on the edge of my seat as was the rest of the audience.

Linda: The magic of theatre! I have no idea how illusionist Paul Kieve did that but it was terrifying and amazing at the same time. He did an outstanding job with this stunt.

Nick: Choreographer Paul Darling, whose work earned him a Tony nomination, was in top form here. In "School Song" the actors climbed each letter of the alphabet as it matched words in the song. It was intricate and super cool to see.

Linda: Darling's choreography was crisp and imaginative - and he didn't hold back just because the cast was made up of kids. The dancers were absolutely phenomenal!

Nick: "The Smell of Rebellion" employed a trampoline to great effect. And the acrobatics that the children and Miss Trunchbull did was awesome. There were some similarities to Spring Awakening in the number "Revolting Children" as well as some of the other dances. Bruce pulling the microphone out of his jacket and the main Matilda dance moves must have been inspired by Bill T. Jones - choreographer for Spring Awakening.

Linda: I love the choreography in "When I Grow Up." Having everyone on swings was just beautiful and touching. The number struck a chord with me and was hands down my favorite song of the show.

Nick: And now we get to the star of the show - Matilda. The role rotates between four girls and opening night saw Mabel Tyler take the lead. She was very believable as the young, imaginative and precocious heroine of our story.

Linda: It's quite astounding that Tyler is able to remember all her lines and deliver them with such skill at such a young age.

Nick: What was up with casting adults in the ensemble to play students? And they weren't twenty- somethings. They were early to late thirties and it was obvious. It broke the illusion for me.

Linda: I didn't understand that either.

Nick: Dennis Kelly's Book really downplayed Matilda's physical magical abilities found in Dahl's story, instead choosing to have her imagination be her main magical power. But she did have the power to make up a story that was in fact the actual history of Miss Honey and Miss Trunchbull. It was quite interesting and bonded the characters of Matilda and Miss Honey together in a way that was profound.

Linda: The story was empowering. A reader of books upon books, upon books, it is fitting when Matilda sings, "Nobody but me is gonna change my story." True for us all.

Nick: And now Matilda The Musical is here in San Francisco at the Orpheum Theatre. Matilda is the perfect family-friendly musical about the pitfalls and struggles of childhood and the power of knowledge and imagination to overcome obstacles. Buy your tickets now to see this 5 time Tony award winning smash hit and as Matilda always says, "You mustn't let a little thing like 'little' stop you!"


Book by Dennis Kelly based on the book by Roald Dahl
Music and Lyrics by Tim Minchin
Directed by Matthew Warchus
Now through Aug 15, 2015
Photos courtesy of Joan Marcus

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What You Say

2 reviews, average rating: (5.0 Stars)

Marianne: “West End Or Broadway -- Matilda Delivers!”

My husband and I saw Matilda in London a year ago and just last evening we ... more

Barbara Carole Sickmen: “Matilda Madness Hits The Streets Of Broadway”

Last minute got me a ticket to opening night...oh my Lord, Finally Broadwa... more

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