Atlanta Art Reviews by Susan K Asher
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Fabulous ‘Matilda the Musical’
at the Fox through April 23

2017 April 22
by Susan Asher


The national touring company “Matilda the Musical” is worthy enough for its outstanding acting, choreography, dancing and singing aside from the story, whose ending made me shed a tear.

“Matilda the Musical” has won 70 international awards, including four Tony Awards and a record-breaking seven Olivier Awards.

Matilda is a precocious genius who was born into a family that doesn’t want her. Her father (Matt Harrington) is a car salesman who cheats his customers and calls Matilda a “brat” and a “boy.” Her mother (Darcy Stewart) spends her time ballroom dancing with a sexy dance partner, and neither parent understands why Matilda wastes her time reading books when she could be watching “the telly.”

On her first day of school, Matilda shocks her fellow students and teacher as she is already a whiz at math and reading. The principal, Miss Trunchbull (Dan Chameroy), mocks and belittles the children, trills her “Rs” as if she is casting evil spells on them and pulls them by their ears and their pigtails. The library and her warm, kind teacher, Miss Honey (Jennifer Bowles) are Matilda’s refuge.

Based on the novel “Matilda” by Roald Dahl, who also wrote “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory,” this musical production keeps both children and adults entertained with humor and music, but what makes this show so worthy is the fantastic performances by the adult and child actors. They keep the acting so real, even for those caricature over-the-top characters: the mother, father and Miss Trunchbull. On opening night Matilda was played by Jenna Weir, but she shares the role with Gabby Gutierrez and Jaime Maclean. Weir was outstanding.

If you have children, take them to this show. If you don’t have children, go simply for the wonderful performances and the creative choreography, which melds Broadway, ballroom, hip-hop, ballet and modern.

Book by Dennis Kelly, music & lyrics by Tim Minchin, “Matilda the Musical” runs through April 23 at The Fox.

Cast:
Party Entertainer . . . . . . . . . . . Stephen Diaz
Doctor . . . . . . . . . . . Justin Packard
Mrs. Wormwood . . . . . . . . . . . Darcy Stewart
Mr. Wormwood . . . . . . . . . . . Matt Harrington
Matila . . . . . . . . . . . Jenna Weir
Michael Wormwood . . . . . . . . . . . Darren Burkett
Mrs. Phelps . . . . . . . . . . . Keisha T. Fraser
Miss Honey . . . . . . . . . . . Jennifer Bowles
The Escape Artist . . . . . . . . . . . Justin Packard
The Acrobat . . . . . . . . . . . Kim Sava
Miss Trunchbull . . . . . . . . . . . Can Chameroy
Rudolpho . . . . . . . . . . . Stephen Diaz
Sergi . . . . . . . . . . . Eric Craig
Other parts played by Jacqueline Burtney, Marisa Kennedy, Anthony MacPherson, Tyler McKenzie, Gray Monczka, Soren Miller, Gabby Beredo, Jacob Anderson, Isabella Stuebing, Jim Kaplan, Molly Richardson, Talia Cosentino, Gregory Diaz IV.

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