Last fall, one of our busiest seasons to date, the girls sold Girl Scout Nuts, Chocolates and Magazines (Who knew that Girl Scouts had something other than cookies?). They both had checked off the top prize, which were tickets for two to watch Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical at Segestrom.
Matilda is one of Sam’s favorite books. We’ve read it several times and watched the movie with Jamie, so even she was familiar with it too. It was a fitting goal for both girls.
Thanks to my Grandfather who took me to all the classic Broadway plays once upon a time, I learned to love and appreciate musicals. It’s something I’ve carried with me to this day, and hope to impart as well to my girls. I’ve already taken Sam to see Wicked back in Manila, but Jamie had not been to a musical with us yet — so we hoped Matilda would be her first.
I was excited — I’d read some pretty good reviews of Matilda, and heard that it was a must-watch from friends who saw it in London. It is peppered with awards too from Best Actor to Best Musical, so I was curious and I had high expectations for it. Knowing the book inside and out, and after watching the movie several times, I think the girls had set some high expectations as well.
Thanks again to benevolent friends, family and staunch girl scout supporters outside the grocery stores, the girls did get their tickets to Matilda!
And thankfully, they had enough sense to take their parents as their plus ones (not like I would have let them take anyone else otherwise, right?). 😉
I absolutely loved it. The music was fabulous and the acting was fantastic (particularly from a 10-year old actress, and the award-winning Bertie Carvel, who played Ms Trunchbull). As a parent, at the back of my head, I kept wondering what kind of little girl these actresses are in real life. How do they study? And do they do anything else? Hannah was the one we watched — and she was brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. They were all so good!
We were completely amazed and entertained. The way they produced their main sets — a classroom, a school playground, the library and a living room (with just a TV), was also so much fun. Everything looked seamless from the balcony seats we had.
They tried to stay as close to the book as possible, but if you read it (or watched the movie), you’d know which parts were true and which parts they took license to change. The change however, didn’t affect the essence of the story and it still had the same effect.
The girls loved it so much, they started searching You Tube videos for clips of the performance or the songs. And at dinner every night, we would have the Matilda soundtrack playing in the background. I only wish I bought the CD as we left the theatre.
To round out my experience of these Broadway musicals, my Grandfather purchased the songbooks of Les Miserables, Ms Saigon and Phantom of the Opera so that I could learn some of the pieces on the piano. At least at some point in my life, I could claim that I knew how to play Last Night of the World, On my Own, and All I Ask of You. But that was a very long time ago!
And so, I did the same.
Sam’s piano teacher has asked her to practice sight-reading some pieces, and why not make the task much more enjoyable by having her do it on something she loves. Actually I think she spends more time on it than her regular pieces.
To close out the loop, Jamie has now gone looking for her sister’s book, and has said she’ll start reading it tonight.
If Matilda comes to your hometown, or you get the chance to visit Broadway or London, by all means, make it a part of your itinerary. I highly recommend you watch it at least once. It’s still enjoyable even if you haven’t read the book, much more meaningful for those who have. I’d definitely love to watch it again!