Friday, September 11, 2015

Denver Center for the Performing Arts: 9/9 – 9/20

Roald Dahl’s “Matilda” first appeared as a novel in 1988. It was then adapted for the screen and directed by Danny DeVito in 1996. More recently it has become a highly successful Broadway musical. After winning seven Olivier Awards before it crossed the pond, “Matilda, the Musical, ”snagged four Tony Awards in 2013 bringing its trophy collection to a total of 50 awards internationally.
     The touring production currently on view at the Buell Theatre is a stunner.
     Mabel Tyler does a ferociously fine job portraying Matilda Wormwood, the mistreated child prodigy with extra-sensory powers.
     Cassie Silva and Quinn Mattfield do a great job portraying Mr. and Mrs. Wormwood, Matilda’s hideously abusive and neglectful parents.
     Bryce Ryness’s performance in the role of Miss Trunchbull, the head mistress of Crunchem Hall is hellaciously funny.
        Jennifer Blood portrays the compassionate teacher, Miss Honey with a naturalness that stands out in vivid contrast to the other more surreally painted characters.
     The show boasts an amazing ensemble of child actors who have the exhilarating choreography nailed with breathtaking precision. Besides dancing these children are also required to perform amazing athletic feats.  The choreography of one of the scenes involving rebellion in the classroom may make you feel as if you’re viewing a prepubescent version of one of those desk-stompers from “Spring Awakening.” Set, costumes, lighting and orchestrations are all top-notch. The only issue this reviewer had with the show is that the dialect is sometimes so thick that it prevents a clear understanding of the dialogue.

For tickets go online to or call 303-893-4100.

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