The kids in the classroom sing of their rage at Miss Trunchbull in Area Stage’s “Matilda the Musical.”
Credit John Rodaz
BY CHRISTINE DOLEN
September 17, 2019
Originally published at Artburst Miami
Childhood should be a time of intellectual and emotional growth, nurturing within a loving family, a safe harbor before having to face the myriad challenges of the adult world. For the luckiest kids, childhood is exactly that.
But not for Matilda Wormwood.
The young heroine of Roald Dahl’s 1988 novel “Matilda,” a 1996 movie version and the 2011 London/2013 Broadway hit “Matilda the Musical” is a gifted British 5-year-old who voraciously devours full-length literary classics.
Yet she’s stuck in a particularly crass working-class family, with a dance competition-obsessed mum focused exclusively on her own looks, a crooked used car salesman dad who refers to Matilda as “he” or “boy,” and a nearly non-verbal brother who could be the poster child for TV-obsessed couch potatoes.
At school, she’s one of the many victims of the bullying headmistress Miss Trunchbull, whose punishment of choice is to lock any student who annoys her in “Chokey,” a tiny closet lined with protruding nails, broken glass and spikes. Yikes.
“Matilda the Musical” is now getting its professional regional premiere at Area Stage in Coral Gables, where it runs through Oct. 6. The national tour has already played the Broward Center, and two local children’s theater companies (Boca Raton’s Sol Children Theatre during the summer, Fort Lauderdale’s Florida Children’s Theatre in October-November) have tackled or will produce the show.
But here’s a tip: Do not miss Area Stage’s stellar production, which is nearly perfect in every way.
“Matilda the Musical” is the artistic handiwork of the multifaceted young director Giancarlo Rodaz, who also designed the show’s ominous set, lighting and overall look (including drawing and animating the projections, which are key to the production). He comes by his many talents honestly: His parents, John Rodaz and Maria Banda-Rodaz, founded Area Stage 30 years ago on Lincoln Road, and their son grew up immersed in the world of theater.
Still, anyone who appreciates excellent regional theater should seek out Rodaz’s production, which is already selling like hotcakes. It’s triumphant.
Read the full article on Artburst Miami here....