From the imagination of Roald Dahl comes the Tony Award-winning MATILDA, THE MUSICAL, which is now playing at La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts. If you’ve read the book or seen the movie, you know that it is the story a brave, smart, book-loving girl who stands up to the adults who seek to crush her imagination. The musical has taken the story to the next level, with catchy songs and high-energy dance numbers.
Disclosure: I received press tickets to this show, but will always share my honest opinion of what I experience.
This is a wonderful venue! It is located in a shopping center with lots of dining options and tons of free parking, which makes for a relaxed and stress-free evening. My friend Jesse and I parked by the theatre and walked to the other end of the shopping center for a quick dinner at Cabo Taco Baja Grill, which has a sweet little patio area and a great, affordable menu. I LOVED the cauliflower soft tacos!
It was a five-minute walk back over to the theatre, which was packed at this point and buzzing with the excitement of opening night. A fire was roaring in the lobby fireplace, and there was a super cute photo op where you could pose with books, pictures of chocolate cake, and a ruler (items that play big parts in the story). We also talked about what a great lineup the theatre has with the McCoy Rigby Entertainment 2019/20 Season, with ARSENIC AND OLD LACE up next, followed by THE SOUND OF MUSIC and MAMMA MIA.
MY THOUGHTS ON THE SHOW
I absolutely loved MATILDA, THE MUSICAL! I saw the movie years ago but had forgotten most of the story, so it was basically all new to me. The whole cast (half of them young children) is absolutely terrific, and they just light up the stage. Audrey Cymone, who plays Matilda, just radiates goodness and courage, and made us all laugh and cry. She is a gem. And it was absolutely genius to cast Michael A. Shepperd as Miss Agatha Trunchbull. Michael (who I had the pleasure of interviewing recently on the West of Broadway podcast) is over six feet tall and very imposing, and he stalked around the stage in knee socks glowering at the kids and just brought the house down a number of times. And Erica Hanrahan and Josh Adamson as Matilda’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Wormwood, were HYSTERICAL.
I was really impressed by the dance numbers, and how these “Revolting Children” (that’s the name of one of the songs) danced on chairs and desks and gave it their all. I’m so glad that there is a live orchestra, conducted by the very enthusiastic Jennifer Lin; I loved peeking over at the pit and watching her. There are some incredibly touching moments, too; I teared up during “This Little Girl” and “I’m Here” and many more times as the story unfolded. If you have ever felt like you don’t belong, or have struggled to find your place in your family, you are going to connect to Matilda on so many levels.
The show is recommended for ages 5 and up, and I’m going to bump that up to 7 and up for my recommendation, as this is a solid 2 hours and 45 minutes (with a short intermission) in the theatre with some intense moments that might be a little confusing or frightening for your younger ones. But it really depends on your child, and your five or six-year-old might be totally fine.
THE BOTTTOM LINE: MATILDA, THE MUSICAL is a wonderful, high-energy family musical that celebrates the power of kindness and imagination.
MATILDA, THE MUSICAL
Book by Dennis Kelly
Music and Lyrics by Tim Minchin
Musical Direction by Jennifer Lin
Choreography by Kate Dunn
Directed by Michael Matthews
Catch MATILDA through Sunday, November 17th, 2019.
LA MIRADA THEATRE FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS
14900 La Mirada Blvd.
La Mirada, CA 90638
For children ages 5 and up. Children under 3 will not be admitted into the theatre.
Tickets range from $20-$89 (Prices subject to change)