Actors Youth Theatre and Matilda: The Musical

Actors Youth Theatre is currently running Matilda: The Musical in Apache Junction at the Zao Theater. It is running from June 10th to 26th, and advanced ticket purchase is $20, or $22 if purchasing the day of. You can select tickets and dates at www.aytaz.org .

Matilda is a story of a young girl with astounding talents and intellect that goes unrecognized by all the careless and selfish people in her life. The only adults who take an interest in her are a librarian, and a kind teacher, Miss Honey.

Matilda thinks that going to school will mean new freedom and experience, but it turns out that the dreadful principal, Ms. Trunchbull, runs the school with an iron fist, and often punishes students with techniques such as throwing them out a window, or locking them into a nail and glass laced closet called the chokey.

This story is about how Matilda refuses to settle for what life hands you, and takes control of her own destiny, even if that means sometimes being a little bit naughty.

Actors Youth Theatre and Matilda: The Musical

Overall, the cast was absolutely lovely. Aside from a few microphone snafus, the singing and dancing were strong, and Matilda, played by Maddie Sue Miller, was clearly talented. The kids and teens knew their stuff and pulled off some intricate timing without missing a beat. Great job to the entire cast and crew!

Be aware that this play is very different from the movie, and the focus is much less whimsical and magical. The humor was more twisted and dark than I expected from a play marketed for children. My 8 and 10 year old both felt rather disturbed during the first half of the show, to the point that we ended up leaving during intermission. My guess is older children and teenagers might enjoy the story more.

The most entertaining part of the play was a dance number between Matilda’s mother and her dance partner, Rudolpho. That number had me and my girls laughing out loud as a confused Miss Honey watched with indignation while Mrs. Wormwood declared that filling kids’ heads with intelligence is a useless cause. They rumbad and tangoed across the stage in the hilarious, high energy number. Dare I say, Rudolpho stole the show?

Other reviews and information about AYT can be found here.

Liz is a NJ transplant who lives in Chandler with her husband, and three daughters.

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