June 2017 (Vol. 31, No. 6)

Page 30

Celebrating the power of storytelling, imagination, and taking hold of one’s destiny, Matilda: The Musical is overflowing with twisted humor and a giant heart. by HANNAH GRAY GORDON

30 JUNE 2017

For most children, summer is about family time with vacations, no school, reconnecting and sometimes, disappearing into a good book. But in Matilda’s world, being saddled with two selfabsorbed and neglectful parents can make a summer feel like an eternity. This Matilda, who lives in a world where children are sometimes referred to as maggots, was created by Roald Dahl (Fantastic Mr. Fox, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,

James and the Giant Peach) in 1988. As successful as the book was, it was only a matter of time until it saw “new life” in a different medium. In 2009, the Royal Shakespeare Company opened a musical version of Matilda in Stratford-upon-Avon, England. In 2011, the musical received a West End debut to uniformly positive reviews. By 2013 it had traveled the Atlantic to open at the Shubert Theatre on Broadway with a U.S. national tour following.