Much like the book Matilda by Roald Dah, the musical of the same name depends upon the talents, moxie, and sass of a small girl. Luckily, MATILDA the musical now playing at Moonlight Amphitheatre through August 3rd has a very talented lead actress named Charity Rose, along with an incredibly talented cast, to bring this story to life on stage.
Matilda (Charity Rose) is a prodigy child born into a family of colorful, loud, and impossibly self-absorbed parents Mr. & Mrs. Wormwood (Kevin Hafso-Koppman and Kristina Miller-Weston). Unlike the children who open the show with their songs about being their parents ”miracle” Matilda finds herself being berated when she brings home books from the library, learning languages, and consistently dismissed as ‘boy” by her father.
Hopeful things will improve when she goes to school, Matilda is greeted by her gentle and caring teacher Miss Honey (Ashley Fox Linton), and then to the formidable and scary school headmistress Miss Trunchbull (Randall Hickman).
Yes, it sounds a bit dark, but Dahl’s stories never shied away from some darkness to let the kids in them shine. Dealing with bullies, whether they are at home or at school, is a challenge, and one that Matilda and her friends are more than happy to face head on and triumph over. This musical is no different and allows the talented kids in the cast to command the spotlight as band together in mischief, and magic to win the day.
Rose is very spunky and has a lovely voice, balancing the lines, choreography, songs, and the accent proving she’s as talented and clever as the title character she plays. Hafso-Koppman and Miller Weston shine as the cartoonish comedic parents to Matilda, and Linton is as sweet as her character’s name, Miss Honey. Hickman brings plenty of intimidation and an undercurrent of ridiculousness to the role of Trunchbull.
Standouts in the kids ensemble include Isabella Pruter, Alexander Ikizyan, and Holland Hartpence.
Shout out to Vanessa Dinning the Dialect coach for getting the entire cast to sound natural with the accent work the show calls for as well!
The musical is layered with catchy tunes and clever lyrics “It seems that there are millions of these one-in-a-millions these days” by Tim Minchin and is enhanced by equally clever choreography by Colleen Kollar Smith. The set by Stephen Gifford is fun and functional, transitioning from libraries to school yards and chalkboards with ease.
MATILDA is a fun and mischievous musical that proves that kindness and cleverness can overcome, and a powerful reminder that “nobody but me can change my story.” Playing through August 3rd, this is one musical that is magic for kids and parents alike.
MATILDA at Moonlight Ampitheatre is playing through August 3rd, for ticket and show time information got o www.moonlightstage.com