On my lengthy list of things I dream to do with the kids, is taking them to a musical. Each year when the Broadway Philadelphia schedule is announced, I dream of enjoying a special day in the city. But, until now, the boys have always said “no thanks” and Little hasn’t been quite old enough.
Because, suddenly, all three kids want to enjoy Broadway and I’m excited to start this month with Matilda The Musical. Big and I received tickets to Matilda for Media night, in exchange for this post, and we can’t wait to share our experience with you. Because he’s never been to a Broadway show, I’m interested in his reaction to the story, the music, and how different he’ll view live shows versus screen.
Buy your tickets!
Whether you’re in Philadelphia, New York, or another city, if you’re making plans to see a musical and are set on that show, be sure to get your tickets in advance. While sitting in the Orchestra area is a dream to feel close enough to reach out and touch (I remember dreamily staring into the eyes of Joseph from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat [in Philly next month!] and thinking “he’s really singing to me!”) But orchestra seats are pricy and, I’ve realized, not always necessary. Sitting in one of the first rows of the balcony helps kids to see the entire picture and focus on the scene, rather than the one character in front of him or her. Neither seat is wrong, neither seat is bad. Each seat in the theater will offer a unique perspective.
Philadelphia tickets can be purchased through the Kimmel Center. New York tickets can be purchased through Viator. For tickets in other cities, contact your theater.
update, 11/9/15: If you’re interested in seeing the show in Philadelphia, book your tickets through the Kimmel Center and use code QUIET for 35% off.
Read the book
If you and your child haven’t read the book, Matilda is an intellectual wonder. She’s a smart, sassy and savvy character who is not only fun to read but even more fun to discuss and giggle with. As you’re reading Matilda, take time to discuss the story as you go, and break between chapters to make predictions as to what will happen next.
After reading the book, talk about how it will be different as a show. We like to “cast” the show with our favorite actors and actresses we’d like to see play the part — sometimes we even “cast” ourselves.
Watch the movie
While the movie and live show will be incredibly different, I love to set myself up to know what I’ll be seeing. It’s also fun to compare the movie and the book. Instantly watch Matilda through this Amazon link.
Complete a Venn Diagram
After watching the movie, create a Venn Diagram that compares and contrasts the movie and the book. This adds to a discussion and makes it more interactive.
After seeing the Broadway show, compare and contrast the 3 portrayals, with this Venn Diagram. (I included a few simple discussion questions.)
When I was in my twenties, I never wanted to listen to the music before seeing a show, for fear it would ruin the story or the excitement. Later, when seeing a show for the first time that I’d listened to in advance, I learned how much more electrifying it is to know the music first. You and your child will be able to sing a long (in your minds) during the performance and you’ll feel a connection to the music and the song. This will also help you to take in more scenery and story line, because you won’t feel that you have to focus quite so much on the lyrics.
Buy the Matilda (Original Broadway Cast Recording) soundtrack.
Grab your souvenir now
This is a Disney World trick that I’ve learned to use in other parts of my life. If you’re certain you’ll love the show and want to purchase something to remember it (in addition to the soundtrack), or if you know your child will want to wear the t-shirt to school the next day, order a t-shirt (or other item) ahead of time and have it ready as a parting gift after the show. I can’t promise that it will cost significantly less money, but I can promise you’ll avoid a crowd on the way out of the theater.
About Matilda the Musical
TIME Magazine’s #1 Show of the Year! Winner of 50 international awards, including four Tony Awards®, MATILDA THE MUSICAL is the story of an extraordinary girl who, armed with a vivid imagination and a sharp mind, dares to take a stand and change her own destiny.
Based on the beloved novel by Roald Dahl, MATILDA continues to thrill sold-out audiences of all ages on Broadway and in London’s West End. The Wall Street Journal says, “The makers of MATILDA have done the impossible – triumphantly! It is smart, sweet, zany and stupendous fun.”
Tickets for Matilda the Musical at the Academy of Music at the Kimmel Center, November 17-29, 2015, are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased by calling (215) 893-1999, through the website , or at the Kimmel Center box office. Tickets are on sale to the public now and start at $20. Group sales are available for groups of 10 or more and can be purchased by calling (215) 790-5883.
Matilda image by Joan Marcus, courtesy of Kimmel Center Press Center.
© 2015, Julie Meyers Pron. All rights reserved.