All I know I learnt from telly; Matilda the Musical’s impressive performance

All I know I learnt from telly; Matilda the Musicals impressive performance

Olivia Guy, Editor-in-chief

PA’s theatre department closed out the past week with a four-show production of “Matilda the Musical,” running from March 30 to April 1, that demonstrated yet again that with hard work, collaboration, and a little bit of “magic,” PA’s auditorium is capable of coming to life for the second year in a row.

After last year’s successful and enthralling performance of “Shrek the Musical,” the pressure was mounting for PA’s annual spring musical, and tension-filled whispers echoed the halls all week as cast members worked hard to iron out technical difficulties, costume mishaps, and staging crises.

The strenuous and extensive work that all members of the musical production partook in during what has been dubbed as “hell week” leading up to the musical blatantly seemed to have paid off, with only a few minor (and expected) hiccups.

After attending multiple PA productions put on by the theatre department, my favorite part is always the singing, as it shocks me every time hearing how talented people are in the vocal department. Especially attention-grabbing was Ms. Honey’s (played by Bailey Lewis) songs. Her soft but powerful performance is what I aspire to sound like while jamming out in the shower.

However, an undeniable difference between my shower performances and the musical’s was the incredibly impressive sets. Initially catching my eye was the assortment of books hanging from the front of the stage, complementing the overall message of the play impeccably. The jail-like structure resembled what I can only describe as scaffolding-esque, and was successful in creating a prison-like atmosphere, encompassing the overall conflict of the performance.

Becoming immediately obvious from the first scene, was the impeccable casting of the character Matilda, with Lindsey Chambers embodying Matilda’s identity, personality, and overall aura. It was as if Chambers was simply a figure of Roald Dahl’s imagination, encapturing the movements and nature of the charming character.

Leading up to Friday’s show (the one I attended), I heard rumors of soundboard and other technical issues that plagued crew members, as members frantically worked to remedy any concerns, and while I can’t speak to opening night, by Friday, any hint of complications had dissipated… at least from an observer’s perspective.

Special effects and prosthetics also acted as nice additions to the performance, as Miss. Trunchbull’s harshness shone through as she tugged the ears of one student (pulling putty instead of actual flesh…at least I hope so), and in one scene in particular where she aggressively picks a student up, spins her, and then throws her (still trying to figure out exactly how that was pulled off).

While I felt all their actors portrayed their respective characters successfully, Mr. Wormwood (played by Mason Marino), was a personal favorite, with his performance of “Telly,” being equally as impressive as it was entertaining.

Compared to last year’s musical, I would say Shrek and Matilda are very comparable, obvious in both that blood, sweat, and tears went into show night. However, Matilda was more stripped down, relying more on singing and acting, which is simply the nature of Matilda, in comparison to the comedy aspect of Shrek. It was interesting to see the two in comparison to each other, both showcasing the talent of the actors in their own way.