BWW Review: MATILDA at LG Art Center, 'That's Not Right!'

BWW Review: MATILDA at LG Art Center, 'That's Not Right!'

BWW Review: MATILDA at LG Art Center, 'That's Not Right!'

Do you know what the nickname of September 13 is? It is called the "Roald Dahl Day," a holiday dedicated to the beloved storyteller, Roald Dahl. Out of his amazing books such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The BFG, James and The Giant Peach, Royal Shakespeare Company had chosen Matilda as its next big musical project. MATILDA was first premiered on West End in 2011, following with a Broadway premiere in 2013. Since then, this show has been produced in several English-speaking countries. However, in 2017, a rumor began to spread that they were having their first non-English speaking country production. Everybody was excited to find out which country took the honor. Finally, in August 16th, 2018, the first non-English speaking production of MATILDA had its first premiere in LG Arts Center of Seoul, South Korea.

Excitement buzzed throughout the entire year of 2017 when it was confirmed that MATILDA was going to be performed in South Korea. Soon enough, advertisements began to be posted and audition notices went up. Finally, on June 25, not only the four Matildas but the entire cast was announced. There are a total of 46 actors for MATILDA, including four actors each for the role of Matilda and Bruce, also two actors each for Alice, Lavender, Amanda, Tommy, Nigel, Eric, and the main principal adult roles.

The four actors for the role of the miraculous girl, Matilda are Kaeun Seol, Jeana Lee, Yeyoung Hwang, Somyung An. The four Bruces are Kyudong Kim, Taekyung Lee, Seoyoon Moon, and Ian Kwak. Each of these amazing child actors was selected after several competitive audition processes. Woohyung Kim and Jaerim Choi were cast for the iconic role of Miss Trunchball and the poor Miss Honey is performed by Hyemi Park and Jinui Bang. The "loud" mother of Matilda, Mrs. Wormwood is played by Wounggon Kang and Jungwon Choi. For the role of the "trickster" father, Mr. Wormwood, Soonchul Hyun, and Sunghyuk Moon were cast. Matilda's friend, the librarian, Mrs. Phelps is portrayed by Kijung Kim.

Though the cast was also one point that many audiences were excited about, the stage design was definitely the top of everyone's list. The minute you step into the theater, the first thing you see is the amazing letter blocks that surround the entire stage. They look like the word pieces from Scrabble and you can actually find more than 30 words including key and love. Also, the word Matilda is spelled out in bright letter blocks hanging at different heights. The sets for each of the scenes are simple yet sufficient in expressing the location.

There were various parts of MATILDA that were eye-catching. The first scene was the part where Amanda Thripp, who wears pigtails, gets thrown, literally in the air by Miss Trunchball. This was one of the scenes in the movie that I was excited to see how it was expressed in the musical. Truly, it was a clever way and one of the most impressive actings that I have never seen before. Another scene was the part where the actors began to sing "When I Grow Up." Personally, this was my favorite song, so that was why I was looking forward to the scene but also because the actors ride swings. I have seen several interesting performances in musical theater before, but I have never even thought that actors would actually ride swings. It was breathtaking to see actors fly high riding the swings and the scene that directly connects was heart touching. The last scene that caught my eye was the number, "Revolting Children." This number was amazing in that, it showed the powerful energy of the children but also the synergy of child actors and adult actors. As soon as the song ended, confetti was shot in each stage left and right and colorful pieces of paper began to fall from the sky onto the audience seats. Sitting in my seat and watching the colorful papers rain, it made me feel like I was in a middle of a fairytale.

Once in the theater, somebody came up to me and asked why I liked MATILDA and what I was most excited about. After putting some thought, I told that person that this show conveys a story for not only children but also adults too. Also, that this is one of the few shows where child actors are the most crucial part of production, which I think, is important in Korea. Most shows in Korea that have child actors only have them for such a short time, that there are sometimes where the child actor only has 2 lines or appear in the first song and then disappears for the entire show. That is why shows like BILLY ELLIOT or MATILDA is important in Korea. Somewhere in the audience, a child will look at the actors and dream about standing on that stage just like them.

The wonderful opportunity to meet the miraculous child, Matilda ends on February 10, 2019. MATILDA performs in LG Art Center, located in Yeoksam. Tickets start at 60,000 KRW and can be purchased on www.interparkglobal.com or the offline box office. Make sure to check for discounts, the cast, and restricted seats.

For more information, please visit www.interparkglobal.com

Photo Credit: Seensee Company

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From This Author Jimin Lee

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