Roald Dahl’s Classic Comes To Life On Broadway
by Lucia Rossi
Ten year old Paige Brady rocked the Broadway stage in the role of Matilda with a vivacious personality and powerhouse voice on April 2nd.
CSI’s Campus Activities Board (CAB) organized a trip to the Shubert Theatre at 225 West 44th Street for $25 a ticket, including transportation via express bus.
Matilda is about a five year old precocious little girl who loves to read and overcome obstacles caused by her family and school. She is extremely intelligent and uses her talents to help her teacher Miss Honey reclaim her life, stand up to her bully of a Principal Miss. Trunchbull, and also take revenge on her emotionally abusive parents, Mr. and Mrs.Wormwood. Oh, and Matilda also realizes she has telekinetic powers.
When show begins and the actors begin to speak, we see the first major difference in the show from the movie, they’re British! This is because the show first originated from England. It is a surprising twist and it gives the story a different background.
Miss. Trunchbull is hated because of how terribly cruel she is to all the other characters, but Broadway challenges the audience’s opinion. Her character is turned into a mockery by making a persona that is much sillier than the movie. She is a very masculine woman who is played by a male actor with huge fake breasts and is the ultimate villain who makes you laugh and cry.
The characters of Matilda’s parents are different as well. Mrs. Wormwood is a salsa dancing fanatic who only dances with her Spanish partner Rodolpho. Mr. Wormwood is a sly scheming car salesman who wears this green striped suit and has wild greaser-like hair. They both had such charisma on stage, like a comedic Bonnie and Clyde. Mr. Wormwood wanted a son, so he constantly refers to Matilda as “boy” and Matilda just responds with “I’m a girl!”
The set of the stage is constantly interactive with the dancers and actors. There are swings that Matilda’s classmates swing on, and a wall made of letter blocks that dancers climb up on while the desks of the classroom rise up and down the floor of the stage.
“The way that they set up the stage was incredible,” said Mark White, a previous CSI student who accompanied CAB.
The actors were also interactive with the audience by running in the aisles and blowing confetti in air. The cast of children are definitely Broadway worthy. They are professional, extremely talented, and did their own stunts.
“Those kids were amazing!” said Kelyn Potes, Co-Chairperson of CAB. They were fearless and owned the stage. Especially Bruce. There was an entire number dedicated to Bruce and eating Miss. Trunchbull’s chocolate cake.
Something special about this show is how they have a performance during the intermission. This is unorthodox on Broadway, but Matilda crossed boundaries. Mr. Wormwood went on stage and talked to the audience in character warning children not to read because, “it gives you head lice…of the soul.” He then calls out adults in the audience who raise their hand to say they read books, and calls them bookworms. And according to Mr. Wormwood, “Bookworms are stupid.” Then he sings a song about how television is better than books.
The most curious thing about the show is how they accomplished having Matilda using telekinesis. She wrote on the chalkboard with her mind, and made a glass of water tip over just by looking at it. CSI students were debating how it was done after the show.
CAB’s trip to Matilda the Musical is worth every penny. Lisa Marie Scollo, a member of CAB, wants to let CSI students know that “We have Medieval Times coming May 9 and we have Dorney Park coming in June.” If any student would like to purchase tickets for the next CSI CAB trip they can go to 1C-212 Mon-Fri from 9AM-5PM.