“Even if You’re Little, You Can Do a Lot”: Matilda Review

Bailey Van Wagoner, Business Manager, Managing Editor, Web Editor

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Since 1985, Hale Center Theater in Sandy, Utah has provided quality entertainment for audiences of all ages. Their Broadway and Off-Broadway plays host talented casts from the community and impressive visual effects. 500,000 patrons (including the 24,000 season ticket holders) visit the theater each year to appreciate these high-quality productions. This season produced yet another hit with the musical “Matilda.”

Based on Roald Dahl’s book of the same name, the musical “Matilda” follows the adventures of a young girl in a world that has left her to fend for herself. Matilda’s parents couldn’t care less about their daughter’s well-being, so she quickly learns to care for herself. As a result, the precocious Matilda learns that “even if you’re little, you can do a lot.” She takes her education into her own hands and is miles ahead of her classmates when she enters school for the first time. Her intelligence and independence gets her in trouble at Crunchem Hall where the headmistress Ms. Trunchbull expects nothing less than complete obedience from her students. Matilda refuses to accept the unfair treatment and fights to make a difference for her classmates in a story of love, learning, and rebellion.

On the opening night of April 22nd, the air was filled with the buzzing of audience members as they waited for the theater doors to open. Seniors and children alike talked excitedly about their expectations for the play. It’s fair to say that they were not disappointed when the production started.

While there were a few times that it was difficult to understand the fast-paced lyrics, this pint-sized cast charmed their audience with powerful voices and deep emotion in their performance. Lucy White, playing Matilda, was particularly impressive. This 9-year-old girl held her own onstage and outshone even the adult cast members. Audience members will not soon forget the magic and message of Matilda: everyone deserves to be heard and loved.

There is still time to see Hale Center Theater’s “Matilda.” The production will run Monday to Saturday every week through June 15. Visit hct.org to buy tickets or for more information on the 2019 season.