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Matilda

Members say: Entertaining, Clever, Delightful, Funny, Great staging
85
Critics
89
29 reviews
Members
85
3789 reviews
 

The Royal Shakespeare Company's adaptation of Roald Dahl's beloved children's book, 'Matilda' is the story of an extraordinary girl who dares to take a stand and change her own destiny.... Read more

'Matilda' is the story of an extraordinary little girl who overcomes rotten parents, a terrifying school, and a vicious head mistress....and proves that even if you're little, you can do big things. Based on the beloved children's book by Roald Dahl, 'Matilda' is a new musical that revels in the anarchy of childhood, the power of imagination and the inspiring story of a girl who dares to change her destiny.

 



Reviews (3818)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
89
Avg Score

100
The New York Times

"Rejoice, my theatergoing comrades. The children’s revolution has arrived on these shores, and it is even more glorious than we were promised. Matilda works with astonishing slyness and grace to inculcate us with its radical point of view. It is about words and language, books and stories. It’s about turning the alphabet into magic, and using it to rule the world." Full Review

95
Time Out New York

"Matilda is a kids’ musical, not a musical that happens to be about a kid. As such, its attractions may be limited to younger spectators and die-hard Dahl fans. That would be a pity, since Matilda is wickedly smart and wildly fun; if your rotten mum or dad won’t go, I suggest nicking their wallets and buying tickets yourself." Full Review

100
New York Post

"For once, you can believe the hype. A treat for ears and eyes, brain and heart, the glorious “Matilda” has it all — plus lasers! A treat for ears and eyes, brain and heart, the glorious Matilda has it all." Full Review

90
New Yorker

"Directed with head-spinning alacrity...all the principals are stalwart and right-minded in their work, and that only adds to the strength and the wildness of the show, which you can’t put on pause. Nor would you want to." Full Review

80
New York Theater

"There is much to like in what is unquestionably one of the best new musicals of the Broadway season. 'Matilda' offers dazzling stagecraft, a faithful and intelligent book, and clever lyrics. The production also, however, sometimes feels in need of a translator...There is something a touch Miss Trunchbullish in hiring almost all American actors and forcing them to put on British accents, which wind up being difficult for the audience to decipher." Full Review

100
Variety

"“Matilda” turns out to be an explosion of joy, the most exhilarating and flat-out best musical since “Billy Elliot”...so riotously enjoyable that if the figures can be made to work, its future could be limitless." Full Review

95
The Wall Street Journal

"The makers of "Matilda" have done the impossible—triumphantly. They've taken Roald Dahl's popular children's novel and turned it into a big-budget musical that is true enough to the book to satisfy its youthful readers, yet sophisticated enough to delight childless adults who normally wouldn't be caught dead partaking of such kid stuff. It's smart, sweet, zany and stupendous fun." Full Review

100
The Hollywood Reporter

"Capturing the unique flavor of Roald Dahl’s classic 1988 children’s novel, this funhouse fairy tale is by turns riotous and poignant, grotesque and menacing, its campy comic exaggeration equaled only by its transporting emotional power. I can’t wait to see it again." Full Review

85
New York Magazine / Vulture

"Matilda is an irresistible, whiz-bang musical, especially in its ingenious staging, which is like a cabinet of wonders constantly opening in unexpected ways.' Full Review

90
New York Daily News

"A spiky and lavishly inventive new Broadway show...The score is a jaunty and agreeable mix of ditties, doodles and jingles that feel right for “Matilda”’s cartoonish qualities." Full Review

85
Newsday

"The show, adapted from Roald Dahl's mordant 1988 children's book, is a surprisingly low-tech pleasure. Director Matthew Warchus, a master of character-defining physical comedy, has put big handfuls of tiny gifted actors and monstrous authority figures into a relatively simple set of Scrabble-like alphabet tiles and towers of bookshelves." Full Review

95
Chicago Tribune

"Matilda is the spunky, over-achieving, proto-feminist, grrl-power heroine of what is far and away the best new musical of the Broadway season. Indeed one of the best family-oriented shows of any season, and a grand cultural experience in the tradition of the Royal Shakespeare Company." Full Review

95
NorthJersey.com

"One of the greatly appealing things about Matilda is the way the musical conjures up a special world with its own distinctive people and rules of behavior. With its pizazz, humor, style, intelligence and all-around entertainment quotient, Matilda is far and away, the best new musical seen this season." Full Review

80
The Associated Press

"Matilda arrives in New York with plenty of hype and awards, and it mostly delivers a thrilling blast of nasty fun, even if it's a bit swollen and in need of some fine-tuning." Full Review

90
USA Today

"The U.K.-based Matilda the Musical is the smartest musical to arrive on Broadway in years. But Matilda is also affecting, and enchanting, in a way that homegrown hits of late haven't been." Full Review

100
The Washington Post

"“Matilda,” by some large and tickling measure, is the most splendiferous new musical of the year. With a delectably clever score and a slyly evocative book, the musical, is distinguished by its wonderful look and a caliber of choreography for young people you rarely ever experience." Full Review

85
Financial Times (UK)

"The most engaging theatrical evenings on Broadway of the past few years need no stars to work their magic. Matilda belongs in such company. I found the songs fairly disposable, the storytelling a little slack, and the sound design muddy...But both kids and adults can watch this marvellous production and experience an escape from the usual Broadway-musical fare, which treats them as dolts." Full Review

75
Village Voice

"The show's over-the-top level can be tiring--almost running over the audience--and a lot of the songs are wordy emissions that sound more work-in-progress than classic stage tunes. Still, it's a kiddie show done with spirit, audaciousness, and a minimum of cheap sentiment. Matilda will surely go waltzing home with some Tonys." Full Review

80
Backstage

"A meticulously calculated production offers coup after coup de théâtre as it tells Dahl’s fantastical tale of a 5-year-old girl who’s a genius. The show is strenuously entertaining, as dark as it is funny, and just a tad cold...Matilda the Musical resembles nothing so much as a highly sophisticated machine. It’s built to dazzle, and it does." Full Review

90
StageZine

"One of the most ambitious, energetic and technically mind-blowing stage musicals ever. Everything here, from Peter Darling’s acrobatic choreography to Rob Howell’s unique set, make it difficult to leave the theater without feeling, as the Brits say, 'gobsmacked.' Tim Minchin’s score is rich and textured on so many levels...From the opening number to the finale nothing here is conventional, but it all works, making 'Matilda' an instant classic." Full Review

20
Village Voice

"It relies on loud noise, constant aimless movement, an incessant barrage of flashing lights, and trick effects...The show’s oddity is made even odder, in Warchus’s largely thug-handed production, by its occasional lapses into tenderness and quietude, which feel less like the musical theater’s customary changes of pace than like the moments of exhaustion that follow manic episodes." Full Review

90
Stu on Broadway

"Except for a bit of tedium in Act II, 'Matilda' delivers an enchanting and magical theatrical experience to audiences both young and old." Full Review

85
CitiTour

"Book writer Dennis Kelly finds the right tonal balance for this tricky, quirky material—creepy yet wistful—as does composer-lyricist Tim Minchin with his spunky, tuneful score. Director Matthew Warchus holds all the myriad elements together for a funny, touching but never over-the-top production...It does an outstanding job exploring the magic of childhood—its many pains as well as its joys." Full Review

80
The Telegraph (UK)

"In some ways, the original innocence of the piece has been lost. There’s a harder-edged quality to the New York staging: the general tenor is louder and more exaggerated...but the tremendous heart and intelligence of the piece remains undimmed." Full Review

90
Entertainment Weekly

"This London-bred phenomenon captures the wonder and innocence of childhood, but also the frustrations that face kids confronting the bitter unfairness of the adult world. You will probably find yourself responding like a just-tucked-in child at bedtime. You want to shout, ”Again!” and demand that the cast start over from the very beginning so you might catch everything that you missed — and revel in everything that you savored the first time around. Aren’t those the best kinds of stories?" Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
85
Avg Score

85
Funny, Ambitious, Great acting, Refreshing, Entertaining

See it if You like kids to be the protagonists. Great stage design. The kids are amazing!

Don't see it if You like mature stuff. You don't like kids.

90
Delightful, Enchanting, Quirky, Refreshing, Great staging

See it if you are a fan of the Dahl story and want to see it imaginatively brought to life while still maintaining it's intrinsic darkness.

Don't see it if you don't cope well will child-heavy audiences (they were surprisingly well-behaved when I went, but your mileage may vary)

69
Funny, Clever, Disappointing, Cloying

See it if you are with children, you love the source material, or you want to see a young lead actress absolutely killing it.

Don't see it if you find child actors or Minchin annoying (this show involves a lot of the most irritating qualities of each). Lots of dark-cutesy quirk.

80
Delightful, Must see, Relevant, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if you want to be entertained by some adorable maggots and over the top shenanigans. The set is gorgeous and the material is winning.

Don't see it if you hate child actors and busy (colorful, kinetic) productions. You can't suspend your disbelief & go along with where the story takes you.

Also I am so glad I was finally able to see this show. It's so charming and... Read more Read less

95
Clever, Delightful, Enchanting

See it if watching children get empowered, inventive sets, unique characters, a bit of darkness, and a magical score sounds like your type of fun!

Don't see it if you like well behaved children, believe teachers and parents are always right, and are still afraid of the monsters under your bed.

84
Delightful, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if You love Dahl or your kids do. The child actors are very talented and it's still a subversive story. Fresh and fun.

Don't see it if You're bringing young kids and they get scared.

83
Clever, Delightful, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if You were a fan of the book as a child, like special effects, like family shows.

Don't see it if You don't want to be in a theatre with a lot of children, are disturbed by children being treated badly.

Also Not just for kids, adults will enjoy this too!

100
Delightful, Enchanting, Intelligent, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if You love the book/movie. Want to see a deep show that is also tons of fun and great music.

Don't see it if you do not like musicals or hate kids.

84
Clever, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if Adaption of Dahl's gothic children's story admirably keeps disquieting tone despite 'happy' ending. Warchus' staging is real star here

Don't see it if With over-amplification & British accents, Minchin's Tony nominated lyrics often lost; book often loses its way in Act II

98
Great acting, Must see, Great writing, Great singing, Great staging

See it if want to see a show that is okay for kids but much of the humor goes over their heads, very entertaining musical

Don't see it if don't want to sit around a lot of kids (worth dealing with them to see this show)

78
Ambitious, Dizzying, Quirky, Disappointing

See it if you like the original story/work (or the film), you like the music, you want to see a not-so-child-friendly children's musical.

Don't see it if you don't like the source material, you don't enjoy the quirkiness or creepiness of it all.

Also Honestly, not a favorite, but worth seeing before it closes. It's well... Read more Read less

23
Excruciating, Creepy, Unintelligible,, Repugnant, Left after a half hour

See it if you enjoy grotesque characters and situations, sadistic adults, children screeching/not singing unpleasant music

Don't see it if if you dislike grotesque characters and situations, sadistic adults, children screeching/not singing unpleasant music

79
Delightful

See it if You have a nine year old as your seat mate.

Don't see it if You don't like child performers.

85
Clever, Great acting, Quirky, Great singing, Great staging

See it if You want to see a musical about children that is not cutesy or condescending. Excellent performances by all.

Don't see it if If you have a problem understanding children with British accents. Second act has a few slow spots.

85
Funny, Dark, Clever, Delightful, Entertaining

See it if you want to see a well done musical that is a tribute to intelligent and spunky girls. Great performances all around, darker than I expected

Don't see it if you have trouble with British accents or seeing children on stage (although these are not cutesy or annoying kids).

79
Overrated, Silly

See it if you're bringing a child.

Don't see it if you like a serious plot.

52
Disappointing, Cliched, Overrated, Slow, Entertaining

See it if If you like kids on stage and are a fan of the book/movie.

Don't see it if If you expect it to be as good as some people say. It's not.

100
Delightful, Enchanting, Entertaining

See it if fun show really enjoyed it

Don't see it if no reason not to see it

78
Funny, Clever, Disappointing, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if you like theatrical musicals, well-executed but a little difficult to understand through the sometimes mixed British accents & weak voices.

Don't see it if you have really high standards for theatrical musicals....could've/should've been more theatrical for me.

72
Funny, Disappointing, Overrated, Entertaining, O.k.

See it if You want to take your children to something and you've already seen the other options, or the ticket price better fits your budget.

Don't see it if you don't have kids with you. There are so many better choices if you haven't seen much.

82
Ambitious, Clever, Delightful, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if You appreciate the subversiveness of Roald Dahl and like great talent from both creatives and performers. You can be inspired by children.

Don't see it if If you can't stand kids, and want to hear the clever lyrics of the music. The treble voices make mush of them. Dislike British imports.

90
Funny, Clever, Enchanting, Hilarious, Entertaining

See it if This generations ANNIE, 2 hours of fun, laughs and entertainment

Don't see it if If you don't like missing some of the dialogue due to accents stay away but you still get the story and the dancing and singing so go

77
Dahl's subversive anti-authority, anti-know nothing tale solidly brought to life through musical

See it if you enjoy high-spirited song/dance, charming child actors, "hissable" villain Trunchbull, clever/whimsical set exalting literacy

Don't see it if /since none of the songs will have life after this musical/unlike Annie, though ending is "Spring Awaken" rousing, remainder is workmanlike

73
Edgy, Resonant, Entertaining

See it if The kids are great but it's a little dark.

Don't see it if You are looking for a kids show. Hard to say its really that.

69
Clever, Dizzying, Quirky

See it if you genuinely enjoy the source material; you want a densely-packed bit of dazzle

Don't see it if you can't get past so-many lyrics sung by so many kid actors with so-so accents