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BWW Review: MATILDA at The Lyric Theatre Company is a Humorous and Heartfelt Return to Stage

Lyric Theatre Company returns to the Flynn with a six show run.

BWW Review: MATILDA at The Lyric Theatre Company is a Humorous and Heartfelt Return to Stage

On Thursday, the rainy evening did not keep the audience away from Lyric Theatre Company's opening night of MATILDA in Burlington. Initially planned for the Spring 2020 season, Lyric Theatre's MATILDA paused for the past two years and joyfully hit the play button once again this week.

With an ensemble cast of characters of all ages, the production was an indication of Vermont's wide array of talent for the performing arts. While this production is written with Roald Dahl's classic sense of humor, it is always great to see how a company brings its own interpretation to it. The comedic timing and pacing were creative, fun, and a joy to watch. With Phoebe Raphael, as the title character, Matilda, you saw a true sense of the combination of sadness, mischief, and hope that this role is known for. Her gentleness and kindness amid insults and punishments were mirrored well in the adult roles of Mrs. Phelps, played by Ashley Snow; and Miss Honey, played by Merrill Cameron.

BWW Review: MATILDA at The Lyric Theatre Company is a Humorous and Heartfelt Return to Stage The comedy throughout was given space to breathe and allowed the actors of all ages to playful entertain the crowd with a look, a move, or a funny quip. This was especially true for the roles of Miss Agatha Trunchbull, played by G. Richard Ames; Mr. Wormwood, played by Jayden M. Choquette; Mrs. Wormwood, played by Hayley Ryan; and Rudolpho, played by Owen Rachampbell.

BWW Review: MATILDA at The Lyric Theatre Company is a Humorous and Heartfelt Return to Stage

The youngest cast members showed talent in acting, singing, and dancing that make their characters believable, funny, and sympathetic. It was the ensemble of students that brought heart, fun, and a bit of mischief to the whole performance.

The set design was creative and interactive, adding to the magic of the production. Throughout the musical, there were moments of thoughtful problem-solving when it came to the more fantastical and progressive elements of the story. Through props, lighting, and thoughtful staging the Lyric Theatre Company showed the audience how a child can eat a gigantic cake all by themselves, how Mrs. Trunchbull can shot-put a student into the sky, and how a young girl can use her eyes to make things move.

While there were a few moments that you could hear opening night nerves in the singing, overall, the production of MATILDA was a fun and heartfelt return to the stage, which showed the dedication and talent of our local performers.

Photo Credits: Stephen Mease, courtesy of The Lyric Theatre Company.



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