What's it about?
Matilda: The Musical is about a young girl named Matilda who is smart and imaginative beyond her years and is unafraid to stand up for what is fair - to her parents and headmistress alike - with the support of her classmates and loving teacher, Miss Honey.
What'd I experience?
Going into Matilda: The Musical, I had ALOT of expectations. I read the book as a kid and I've seen the movie more times than I can count. Matilda and I go WAY BACK. How were they going to handle the magical elements? How were they going to show how awful Miss Trunchbull was? HOW HOW HOW? I couldn't wait to see how they were going to do it, I was FREAKING excited!
My journey to the theater was not the best. It was cold, rainy, gray and terrible outside. Once I was in my seat, I took a look at the audience around me and was not surprised to see mostly children. I started to think about how I felt when I first read the book and saw the movie and I wondered if any of them had the same experience.
Once the show started, I knew that this was going to be a fun show. The stage was full of color and energy. My immediate connection went straight to the girl playing Matilda. Putting my knowledge of the story aside, I had a strong reaction to root for her, because she was young, innocent, a book worm (like me) and so badly treated by some of the adults around her. There was one moment where Matilda speaks to the librarian after telling her a story and the librarian says "Your parents must be so proud to have a daughter like you" and Matilda lies and says "Oh yes! They always tell me how proud they are of me." That moment broke my heart because even though Matilda is quite young and could have been honest about her relationship with her parents, she chose not to. This really resonated with me because I have definitely been there. I have definitely had moments, well into my teenage years and even now into my adult life, where I felt better about myself when I kept a poker face about experiences that disappoint me. I couldn't help but feel a little bit sad to think that that defense mechanism doesn't have a starting age.
My favorite moment the scene with Amanda's pig tails. The entire time, I waited for it. And when it finally happened and she fell from the ceiling, I was so shocked but in the best possible way. I thought to myself "HOLY CRAP! Is that girl okay? Was that actually her or was that fake?" Another moments that I found particularly interesting was with Lavender's newt. I was surprised to see that the newt was not actually there and it was pantomimed. I kept thinking "okay did I miss the newt? Did it fall somewhere? WHERE IS IT?" but it was never actually on stage. The number "School Song" was my absolute favorite because 1) It was not a part of the movie so I didn't have any expectations and 2) it was so much fun to watch! Half way through the number, I noticed that each word connected to a letter of the alphabet so for the rest of the number, I kept listening for each letter as it lit up each of the boxes on stage.
Matilda's attitude towards her circumstances was completely awe inspiring to me. I was so happy that she found a way to a happy ending. One line that she says in the number "Naughty" goes, "But nobody else is gonna put it right for me. Nobody but me is gonna change my story." This line really stuck with me because Matilda is less than half my age and has much more wisdom and hope than I do. When the show ended, I put my headphones in and found the soundtrack on Spotify. I went back into the rain and gloom of the NYC streets, and thought about how lucky I am to have experienced that piece of Broadway. It's always so amazing to me to see children killing it onstage.