Roald Dahl’s quirky book Matilda is “the story of an extraordinary girl who, armed with a vivid imagination and a sharp mind, dares to take a stand and change her own destiny.” A longstanding hit on the London West-End and Broadway theatre scenes, last week the musical version of Matilda took the Traf stage by storm.
More than 30 students from Grades 8 through 11 played a role on- or off-stage in this ambitious production, committing to many months of practice in order to make it a success. Grade 11 student Lola Mae Ruiz de la Orden played Matilda, with classmates Kristin Orlando and Seyjii Schultz tormenting her character in their roles as the insufferable Mr. and Mrs. Wormwood. Headmistress Trunchbull (brought to hulking and hilarious life by Grade 10 student Maya Hillcoat) gives Matilda no relief from her home life, but luckily sweet Miss Honey (Montana O’Keefe) does, as she listens to and appreciates Matilda’s insightful story of an acrobat, escapologist, and entertainer.
Impressed by her inner strength, and exasperated by their own situation, Matilda’s classmates sing and dance their way to a “revolting” finish, turning the tables on Trunchbull, and taking charge of their own destinies. Of course there are a few roadblocks along the way—not to mention some great musical numbers, and moments of side-splitting hilarity.
Incredibly proud of the cast and crew, Director and Drama teacher Maria Violini also acknowledged the tremendous work of Musical Director Isobel LeBlanc, Vocal Coach Shannon Holmes, and Choreographer Ashley Kastner, herself a Grade 10 student.
In congratulating everyone involved in making the show such a success, Head of School Katherine Nikidis remarked on how “incredibly lucky we are to be able to enjoy the talents of both our students and staff.”