Review submitted by Justine Krizan of Indian Creek High School
Everyone’s saying it was quite the little miracle;
They lit the night up in Dundalk, MD.
The greatness of Patapsco almost seems like a miracle,
But nay, they’ve got talent and it’s plain to see!
Roald Dahl’s ‘Matilda the Musical’ is a piece of explosive excitement and powerful intrigue. Matilda Wormwood, enigmatically smart, creative, and talented, hails from a family who refuses to understand her. On her first day of school, she discovers her otherness per the relentless cruelty of strict authoritarian, Principle Agatha Trunchbull. Matilda absolutely will not stand for it; with a little help from her homeroom teacher Miss Honey, her classmates, and some of her own devious little tricks, Matilda will get just a little revenge, and a bully will get a lot of comeuppances.
Patapsco High School’s approach to ‘Matilda’ was just as expected: exciting, powerful, and intriguing. The leads, overflowing with energy and passion, guided the plot along, and sang and danced beautifully, but not without the immense contribution of PHS’s fantastic ensemble talents. Every group number amounted to chills down the spine, thunderous applause, and insatiable eagerness for more from the amazing, Revolting children.
The leading cast of this tense yet hilarious show was tasked with filling the stage with personality and gut-busting slapstick routines. Madison Wise, Matilda herself, had the hardest job: embodying a five-year-old girl. Graced with petite height and stellar soprano range, Wise pulled off the mature immaturity of Matilda with poise and an indescribable factor of adorability. The Wormwoods (Ethan Kehring, Wyn Wyatt, Greg Areford) were insanely in-sync about their physicality, vulgar jokes, and astounding musical excesses. Finally, the almost-avian mannerisms of Rebecca Halcott (‘Miss Trunchbull’) truly made her character otherworldly and fearsome, in conjunction with her squawky screams of indignance.
The aforementioned ensemble was truly a sight to behold, and consistently so. Every single group song, ‘School Song,’ ‘Bruce,’ and ‘Revolting Children,’ to name a few, was sensationally cohesive, high-energy, and catchy. Harmonies, crisp choreography, and rebellious spunk abound, the PHS players outdid the expectations of thespians even older than themselves. The group’s cooperation and evident love for the theatrical process are things to be proud of and marveled at, truly.
What happens behind the scenes is equally important as what happens on stage. PHS’s most impressive tech operations overlapped between the wings and the spotlight, and they did so fluidly. A very fast-paced show such as ‘Matilda’ requires that the stage crew be very quick and diligent. Set transitions often happened during scenes, making for smart use of the large stage while keeping the plot progression seamless. This, complemented by the provision of creative and hilarious props, accounted for an extremely visually interesting and smooth production, thanks to Mackenzie Walker et. al., crew, and Asia Jones et. al., props.
The action-packed, knee-slapping, fantastical grandeur of a legendary story is done great justice by Patapsco High School’s spunky, beautiful, knee-slapping production of ‘Matilda.’
The performance reviewed was from Friday, 3/06/2020.
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