Ann Arbor With Kids: Review of Matilda – Pioneer Theatre Guild

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Last weekend Pioneer Theatre Guild hosted us at the opening night of their production of Matilda. All opinions are ours. They have 3 more shows this weekend.

Pioneer Theater Guild - Matilda

About Matilda The Musical

Matilda the Musical brings Roald Dahl’s classic to life. Matilda is a little girl with astonishing wit, intelligence, and psychokinetic powers. She’s unloved by her cruel parents but impresses her schoolteacher, the highly lovable Miss Honey. Over the course of her first term at school, Matilda and Miss Honey have a profound effect on each other’s lives, as Miss Honey begins not only to recognize but also appreciate Matilda’s extraordinary personality. Matilda’s school life isn’t completely smooth sailing, however – the school’s mean headmistress, Miss Trunchbull, hates children and just loves thinking up new punishments for those who don’t abide by her rules. But Matilda has courage and cleverness in equal amounts, and could be the school pupils’ saving grace!

Our Matilda by Pioneer Theatre Guild Review

Over the years we have seen a number of Pioneer Theatre Guild (PTG) productions. The shows have always been well done with excellent acting, music, costumes, and scenery. Matilda was no exception.

Our family of 3 went into the play with no familiarity with the story. Neither my husband nor I read the book or saw the movie. Our teen daughter said that she started reading the book years ago, but got bored and stopped. Despite our lack of familiarity with the story, we all enjoyed the show.

PTG Matilda - Students & Parents - Photo from Sean Carter Photography - Used with Permission

I am always impressed with the scenery and props used in their plays. The multi-level stage easily represented the Wormwood home, the school, the town library and more.

Our only complaint was that initially it was difficult to determine who the children were since all of the roles were played by high school students. The children wore consistent costumes throughout which did help.

Matilda Age Recommendations

We recommend Matilda for children in elementary school through adults.

For preschoolers, we recommend deciding based on your child. The show was about 2 hours and 20 minutes (including an intermission). The headmistress can be intimidating when she threatens the students. When my daughter was a preschooler, the biggest issue would have been one nighttime scene where the stage gets darker and there was the sound of thunder. But, she always hated thunderstorms.

PTG Matilda - Students on the Playground