Kiddo’s a Proud Theater Geek
The Tony Award winning Matilda The Musical with music direction by lyrical genius, Tim Minchin, performed its final Broadway show on January 1, 2017, but our “Elf of the Shelf” was kind enough to leave two tickets for Kiddo and I (our resident theater geeks) under the tree for its So Cal tour before he vamoosed back to the North Pole on Christmas Day.
A loyal and devoted fan of all things Roald Dahl, I cannot begin to count just how many times Kiddo has read the book, Matilda, or any of Dahl’s books for that matter. She loved it so much that it took quite a long time to warm up to the movie. Growing up with the magical characters that Dahl created for her reading pleasure is one of the best parts of childhood. Whether it be Matilda or Charlie, James or The BFG, the only thing that can make the story even better it is adding music.
“If you have good thoughts, they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.” – Roald Dahl
Seeing Broadway style plays are a new thing for Kiddo, but she’s been bitten by the bug and ready for her big break. It first started in kinder with her yearly school performances where she was Munchkin #47 in The Wizard of Oz, a background “Who” in Seussical, random orphan #29 in Annie Jr., and “Village Mom” #86 in Aladdin Jr. In the eyes of small town U.S.A. its safe to say she’s a perpetually a part of the ensemble. Year after year, she puts her heart and soul into practicing and learning the tiny background parts with hopes that one day she will shine, and score a lead or speaking part before she graduates 8th grade.
Coincidentally, majority of the children continuously chosen from year-to-year for lead parts and speaking roles are members of the local Stagelight Productions who produce our school play each season. Make no mistake, this is far from a jab, just an observation. These children are talented performers, and some are beyond great.
My Mummy says I’m a MIRACLE
By year four, she figured out the politics on her own and knew she wasn’t getting a call back. I couldn’t help but to be really proud of her discovery because it proved that she was doing it for fun and the love of theater. I don’t think I could be as graceful as she is resigning herself to the fact that she will forever be cast as a background ensemble. She even went as far as to try Stagelight for a few months, but quickly realized it wasn’t really her cup of tea and wanted to try a new acting troop. Shortly thereafter, Kiddo began studying theater and drama with South Coast Repertory at Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa where she’s no longer in the background! This is her second year and she couldn’t be happier. The courses are wonderful and the teachers are exactly what you would hope for.
Hamilton: An American Musical
Then came Hamilton and Kiddo had a renaissance for the theater. Last year, Kiddo and I were having our annual GRAMMYs viewing party when the cast of Hamilton performed right from the stage at The Richard Rogers Theater in NYC on Broadway. “Mama! What is this? Can I stream it on Spotify?” and the rest is history. She spent the remaining months of third grade learning everything she could about Lin-Manuel Miranda and we spent the rest of third grade trying to figure out how to score tickets.
“What about Matilda?”
“What about Matilda?” she said. Kiddo has been such a big fan of Roald Dahl since kinder and I thought perhaps the play would show her a whole new way of enjoying something she loved so much. What I didn’t expect is it would be the gateway drug into me buying a bundle of seasons tickets for plays coming to the Pantages Theater in Los Angeles which we’ll get to in another post because I’m really excited about it.
Of course it monsooned for the first time, well…ever, in Orange County the night of the play. We dressed in our finest, and headed to the theater for one of the best Mom/Daughter dates we’ve had in a really long time. I think I enjoyed it so much because Kiddo knows word-for-word of the entire score and fought herself not to belting every tune out louder than the actress playing Matilda on stage.
The performance ran for two hours and 40 minutes with a short 15-minute intermission. The set was absolutely magical, and we even had the chance to sneak a quick peek of the instrumentation which uses a ten-to-thirteen-piece orchestra, including keyboards, reeds, brass, strings and percussion.
The one thing I really appreciated as a parent, were all of the fun activities located throughout the theaters and lobbies. Segerstrom Center of the Arts was kind enough to provide lyric sheets so guests could catch the cleverness of the show.
When I Grow Up
This was the play that made her decide small town shows are fun, but there’s nothing quite like Broadway productions. I knew this the moment we sprung from our seats and she said, “So Mama, what’s next? Hamilton? School of Rock? Cats?” She may have blonde hair and blue eyes, but she’s certainly my child.
What are the best seats to see a play?
I purchased the seats immediately during the on-sale because as we all know, I’m a seat snob. Don’t blame me, blame L.A., its taught me that if it’s “not in my face” I’d much rather not battle traffic and watch the performance on YouTube. Let’s face it, there’s not much that will get me to travel on I-5. If I do, it must be love.
But I’m thrilled to say, we had Row A, seats 22 and 23. This was only fitting because the play was January 22 (1/22), the following day was my birthday, January 23, or 1/23. I’m going to chalk it up to divine intervention.
Going forward, when seeing musical, I like to sit in the middle, but in rows 4 – 8. It’s close enough to catch everything going on, but you can’t see the minor details like sweaty actors who spit when they sing.
Have you seen Matilda The Musical?
We would love to know more about your experience. By sharing your tips, experiences, and memories, in our comments section, you help fellow members of The JetSet Family community determine if this is the best fit for them and their family. Do tell…