Monday, November 26, 2018

{Review} Matilda The Musical

Okay, so, I know it's been quite some time since there has been a new post on here. Life has been CUH-RAY-ZEE! Good crazy...mostly...sad crazy quite a bit for about eighteen months (and still sometimes), but that's another story altogether. I've had the privilege of teaching sixth graders in my school district and it really consumes a lot of my time on top of being a mother and wife. Soooo, that being said...I keep thinking about which direction I want to go with A Ginger Mess...stick with recipes? DIY? Lean towards education? It's still undecided. After all, I'm a ginger mess no matter where I am, ask my students. 
Let's focus!  See...I'm a mess. A couple weeks ago I was offered four tickets to see the new play at the Walnut Street Theater in Center City Philadelphia. I mean, how could I say no? It's a musical! And Roald Dahl? No brainer! I mean, c'mon...I'm a teacher! Who doesn't love Roald Dahl? 

So of course, I let my daughters know about the show...and told my husband, "Sorry, you can't go. Not enough tickets." Poor guy. He was HeaRt BrOkEn. Well, Friday night came along, and we decided to make the trek downtown by driving. Usually, we like to either take the subway from Fern Rock station, or take Septa Regional Rail from nearby. However, knowing we'd get out of the show at 11:30ish my husband and I decided that driving and parking nearby was the better, safer bet. I don't mind taking the train or subway. It's actually a non-stressful way to travel, but nope, I drove...not doing that again. I'll just bring pepper spray next time so that my husband feels better. It was a rainy, miserable evening. It had been pouring all afternoon and wasn't letting up. Now usually when I drive in the city, I take Lincoln Drive because I can't stand Broad Street and it's such a beautiful drive, with trees and beautiful houses, not at all like the typical part of the city. Well, the road was closed for some reason once I hit Germantown Avenue and my GPS re-routed me. I'm not as familiar with all parts of the city as my husband is, so I just followed along, worried that Lincoln Drive might be a mess from all the non-stop rain. Well, I ended up on Broad Street, of course. Luckily, we left a couple hours early because we needed to eat dinner, so we stopped at the Taco Bell, then McDonald's drive-thru at Broad and Rt. 1. Bad. Idea. Really bad idea. It took us more than a half an hour to get our food. Slow. As. Molasses. 

Then, we finally made it downtown and the traffic was ridiculous. I think (well, actually I know) I was suffering from a case of road rage. By the time we made it to the garage and walked to the theater and actually sat in our seats, we had two minutes to spare, and I needed those two minutes to calm my nerves. It took TWO HOURS to get down there that night! It should have only taken me forty-five minutes. Next time, I'm taking a train (or the subway). It's so much faster and way more convenient. 

Okay, so now you know all about my drive and the miserable time it took to get to the theater, but you know nothing about the actual musical. I mean, my title says "Review" right? First, let's talk about the theater. The Walnut Street Theater is wonderful because no matter where you sit, you don't have a pole or anything in front of you. No obstructed view. My husband and I saw Wicked years ago in a different theater downtown and we had a pole in front of us the entire time. Additionally, the Walnut Street Theater has so much history! I could just spend hours looking at all the pictures of people who performed in this theater, from Marlon Brando to the Marx Brothers to Katherine Hepburn to Jane Fonda. Did you know it's the oldest theater in America and actually started out as an equestrian circus? Check out their site at for a lot more interesting history. 

Here we are, finally in our seats. We were in the Mezzanine Right, a few rows back, but all the way to the right, near the outside aisle. There was only one song that we couldn't see the actress's entire face because she was singing all the way to the right of the stage. Overall, I was thrilled with our location and so were the girls. 

From the moment the cast came out singing "Miracle" the show was mesmerizing. You know how sometimes kids shows are a little funny? For adults? I mean, they're funny, but not really laugh out loud kind of funny? This wasn't one of those. I was so pleasantly surprised to find out how much I'd actually laugh throughout the show. And after that horrible drive down, I needed some laughs. The singing and dancing numbers were fun to watch and my girls and I loved every moment! Christopher Sutton and Lyn Philistine were the perfect disgusting parents who only cared about themselves and didn't value Matilda or her unique qualities.  I'll admit. I have never read the book, Matilda, *gasp* I know, but I had seen the movie version with Danny DeVito, so I was curious how they'd actually pull off a musical version. Not only did it make me laugh, often, the story and the actors brought tears to my eyes, too. I know that when I go to something like this, having an emotional connection to the story is so important. The relationship with Miss Honey and Matilda, played by Jemma Bleu and Laura Giknis was heartwarming and seeing these two find each other after all of their heartbreak and truly value each other moved the audience, well, I'm guessing it did because it certainly moved me. 

Overall, this was a family-friendly production that I would highly recommend to anyone, big or small. My daughters and I enjoyed every moment and look forward to seeing more productions at the Walnut Street Theater. Even after the miserable driving adventure, it turned out to be a great experience! Make sure you get your tickets, soon! You won't regret it! 

The show is running from now until January 6th. 
Click the link below to go to the Walnut Street Theater. 

Though I received tickets to the production at no cost, all opinions are my own. 

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