BWW Review: ROALD DAHL'S MATILDA THE MUSICAL at Red Curtain Theatre
Revolting children? I think not! Audiences were encapsulated by the enter-twining story that Matilda spun in The Red Curtain Theatre's regionally premiered Roald Dahl's Matilda The Musical at The Staples Auditorium at Hendrix College in Conway April 12, 13, 14, 19, and 20. Directed by Kristin Sherman, with help from Music Director Kent Britton and Choreographer Olivia Stephens, the Red Curtain has proved to be a powerful force in the community theatre arena.
The musical follows young Matilda (Piper Wallace) as she tries to survive her family and her school, while making friends and finding people who truly understand her. Matilda is smarter than the average child, so much so that she reads advanced literature and moves things with her mind. She also understands that you have to be "sometimes naughty" to set your world the way it needs to be.
On a performance level, the singing was on point! Due to the fact that most had microphones, they didn't have to strain in order for the audience to hear them. Though the kids missed a little of the choreography at times, they were all very entertaining and looked like they were having a ball. I did enjoy the interactions between the Escapologist (Johnny Passmore) and the Acrobat (Christina Munoz Madsen). They did a beautiful job performing the story within the story of Matilda.
This is the second play I have seen with Piper Wallace as the lead. This girl has the potential to go all the way in the entertainment field. Madaline Alfano was perfect as Miss Honey. Her timid yet caring portrayal was felt by the audience. Jenny Ruud's Miss Agatha Trunchbull was characteristically mean but comedic. The Wormwood family was enjoyable. A special surprise was Hayden Lybarger's Michael Wormwood who made me giggle every time he giggled. I couldn't help it. His laughter was so contagious. Another character I enjoyed was Daniel Cathers as Rudolpho. The interaction between his Italian dancer and Mrs. Wormwood was delightful.
The set was great. The Red Curtain always has the right amount of props. The stage isn't too cluttered, but the pieces are meaningful. The book above the stage that showed the projector visuals was a cool idea.
In 2014, the Red Curtain started off with one show for the season. Fastforward to 2019, just five short years, and they are up to nine shows this season. They are really making a mark in Central Arkansas.
Up next in May is Ring of Fire: Small Cast Edition, in June is Once On This Island The Music, Singing In the Rain will be in August, but the one I'm really looking forward to next is Chicago: High School Edition in October. Check out their website at redcurtaintheatre.com, for more information on upcoming shows.