"Matilda the Musical" has won four Tony Awards, dozens of international awards and has been a hit on Broadway. And, after taking my 12-year-old to the show, which is at the Duke Energy Center for Performing Arts in downtown Raleigh through Sunday, I now know why.
It's absolutely enchanting.
The musical, based on the classic book by author Roald Dahl, tells the story of Matilda, who is unloved by nearly all of the adults around her, but finds a way to emerge from her circumstances, using her imagination and determination.
N.C. Theatre and Broadway Series South brought the show, a national tour, to Raleigh. In it, there's a whole lot of great music, great comedy, great stage magic and great storytelling.
Matilda's parents, played by Matt Harrington, who also played Matilda's father on Broadway, and Darcy Stewart, are absolutely horrible. Her teacher, the evil Miss Trunchbull, played by Dan Chameroy, is wickedly gruel. And her teacher, Miss Honey, played by Jennifer Bowles, who I interview below and also performed in the show on Broadway, is as sweet as her name.
But the standouts are the kids, who bring so much energy and talent to the stage. Three actresses rotate in and out of the Matilda role on this national tour. Jamie MacLean, 11, performed the lead role on Wednesday night and had an incredible performance. I'm looking forward to seeing where her talent takes her.
These kinds of shows are such a great reminder that kids are capable of so much more than many people give them credit for - like, in this case, they can lead award-winning Broadway shows.
If you can get to this show this weekend, I highly recommend it. I enjoyed it as much as my 12-year-old did. We do have a ticket discount for shows this weekend. It's available through 8 a.m., Friday.
Before Wednesday's show, I had a chance to sit down with Bowles, who did such a flawless job playing the Miss Honey character that I'm pretty sure my tween was ready to go home with her, like Matilda, at the end of the show too. I had a great time chatting with her! You can watch the Facebook Live video below.