The novel Matilda isn't the best known of Roland Dahl's works, that honor falls to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It is the subject of two adaptions. A 1996 film starring Danny DeVito did poorly on release but ended up being a cult classic. While the film "Americanized" a number of plot points, the 2010 musical adaption by the Royal Shakespeare Company had no such issues.
The musical tells the tale of Matilda Wormwood, a special girl who is born to a pair of neglectful, if not outright hostile parents. She displays advanced intelligence at an early age, but her situation only worsens when she is sent to school. The headmistress, Miss Trunchbull, supplies more than mere hostility. Miss Trunchbull is a vicious disciplinarian who firmly believes in the school motto: Bambinatum est Maggitum. Matilda meets Miss Honey, a sympathetic teacher who sees the girl's talents and tries to convince her parents to allow her to attend more advanced classes. They remain dismissive of Matilda's gifts, and her situation only worsens. Matilda's later discovers her mental talents are not limited to advanced intelligence. A prank on Miss Trunchbull results in a confrontation between the two where Matilda discovers a special ability she uses to help even the score. Afterwards, Miss Honey reveals her connection to Miss Trunchbull. Matilda and her classmates have a final showdown with the headmistresses, where her gifts result in Miss Trunchbull departing the school for good and leaving the children in the care of Miss Honey.
The Broadway production earned glowing critical attention. It earned 11 Tony nominations, winning in 4 categories, including Best Book of a Musical. It took home Best Musical from the Drama Desk Awards, along with four others. The family friendly show proved to be a big success on Broadway. The production at the Shubert Theatre in New York closed after 3 years on Broadway. Touring productions will bring the show to cities around the world. Don't miss your chance to see this award winning musical when it visits a city near you.
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