Thursday, July 23, 2015

Review: Matilda in Orpheum Theater

"Sometimes you have to be a little bit naughty." sings Matilda in her second song. It's one of those unforgettable lines that I cannot erase from memory.

Inna and I finally got to see Matilda the Musical at the Orpheum Theater in San Francisco on July 23, 2015.  I frankly wasn't sure that I was going to be able to attend the performance, as I had a colonoscopy in the morning. Luckily, my procedure went well and I was feeling reasonably well.

I've been patiently waiting to see Matilda for some time. It's been playing in London's West End for some time on was only recently brought over to Broadway and then eventually on tour. Many of London's best musicals rarely make it to the US (and only the most successful ones get to tour).



Matilda is a little girl with astonishing wit, intelligence beyond her years. Unloved by her ghastly parents and bullied by her evil headmistress, Miss Trunchbull, she resorts to using her special gifts to get by, in the process impressing her kind schoolteacher, Miss Honey, with her curiosity and charm.

Over the course of her first term at school, Miss Honey and Matilda begin to have a profound effect on each other's lives, learning that destiny is in your hands!
My favorite song from Matilda is "Naughty". I like the fact that Matilda, despite being young and small refuses to play the victim and finds her own way to solve problems with her parents and classmates.

Here are the lyrics to "Naughty":
Jack and Jill, went up the hill
To fetch a pail of water, so they say
Their subsequent fall was inevitable
They never stood a chance, they were written that way
Innocent victims of their story
Like Romeo and Juliet
T'was written in the stars before they even met
That love and fate, and a touch of stupidity
Would rob them of their hope of living happily
The endings are often a little bit gory
I wonder why they didn't just change their story?
We're told we have to do what we're told but surely
Sometimes you have to be a little bit naughty.
Just because you find that life's not fair it
Doesn't mean that you just have to grin and bear it
If you always take it on the chin and wear it
Nothing will change.
Even if you're little, you can do a lot, you
Mustn't let a little thing like, 'little' stop you
If you sit around and let them get on top,
you might as well be saying
You think that it's okay
And that's not right!
Cinderella, in the cellar,
Didn't have to do much as far as I could tell.
Her Godmother was two-thirds fairy,
Suddenly her lot, was a lot less scary,
But what if you haven't got a fairy to fix it?
Sometimes you have to make a little bit of mischief.
Just because you find that life's not fair it
Doesn't mean that you just have to grin and bare it
If you always take it on the chin and wear it
Nothing will change.
Even if you're little, you can do a lot, you
Mustn't let a little thing like, 'little' stop you
If you sit around and let them get on top,
you might as well be saying
You think that it's okay
And that's not right!
And if it's not right!
You have to put it right!
In the slip of a bolt, there's a tiny revolt.
The seeds of a war in the creak of a floorboard.
A storm can begin, with the flap of a wing.
The tiniest mite packs the mightiest sting!
Every day starts with the tick of a clock.
All escapes start with the click of a lock!
If you're stuck in your story and want to get out
You don't have to cry, you don't have to shout!
'Cause if you're little you can do a lot, you
Mustn't let a little thing like, 'little' stop you
If you sit around and let them get on top, you
Won't change a thing!
Just because you find that life's not fair, it
Doesn't mean that you just have to grin and bare it!
If you always take it on the chin and wear it
You might as well be saying
You think that it's okay
And that's not right!
And if it's not right!
You have to put it right!
But nobody else is gonna put it right for me
nobody but me is gonna change my story
sometimes you have to be a little bit naughty.
Overall, I really like Matilda, but it was very different from most of the other musicals I have seen. For one, the musical arrangements are very sparse, usually with just piano as an accompaniment. Having heard the original London Cast recording, I was less impressed by the singing (though all of the kids acted very well).


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