Bear Stage Presents Matilda The Musical

Bear Stage’s production of Matilda The Musical took place January 16-18 and 23-25, 2020. (Photo courtesy of Ron Webb/Clovis Roundup)

Buchanan’s Bear Stage performed January 16-18 and 23-25 with their production of Roald Dahl’s Matilda the musical, directed by Buchanan’s drama teacher, Abigail Paxton.

Bear Stage did a great job in capturing the essence of Matilda’s story. From the set design and costumes to the acting and singing.

Although you feel for the loneliness and neglect Matilda (Lauren Aiello) goes through, the show stays optimistic and light hearted. You see the way Matilda is treated horribly by her parents Mr. Wormwood (Hunter Oehlschlaeger) and Mrs. Wormwood (Grace Bolton).

You can’t help but laugh at the fact that Matilda is biologically related to the Wormwoods. Oehlschlaeger and Bolton did a great job at portraying how egotistical, heartless, and empty-headed they are as parents to Matilda.

Matilda seeks out a friend through the librarian Mrs. Phelps (Juliana Chiarito) who is in awe about Matilda and the intelligence she holds at such a young age. Mrs. Phelps encourages Matilda to tell a story and is more than excited to hear it.

The enthusiasm Chiarito put into her character of Mrs. Phelps was a notable highlight. The audience chuckled at how much Mrs. Phelps became immersed into Matilda’s story.

When Matilda begins school at Crunchem Hall, her class and teacher Miss Honey (Maya Gengozian) realize just how smart she is.

There’s just one problem – Miss Trunchbull (Jacob Dueker) is out to get Matilda, and anyone else that displeases her.

Dueker playing Miss Trunchbull was another highlight of the show, as he brought a lot of personality to this character. To me it was the perfect balance of showing how evil and rotten Miss Trunchbull is but making her comical and amusing simultaneously.

The relationship between Miss Honey and Matilda on stage felt genuine as Aiello and Gengozian complimented each other very well.

This musical number “Loud” performed by Bolton and Folmer was yet another highlight, it was a funny and upbeat performance making the audience laugh, showing just how crazy Mrs. Wormwood is.

One of my favorite scenes in the show was when Miss Trunchbull makes a student named Bruce (Zachary Kelly) eat an entire chocolate cake, after realizing he stole a piece of it.

This was one of my favorite scenes in the movie and I thought it was depicted creatively in the show with the musical number “Bruce.”

Another standout scene was the musical number “The Smell of Rebellion” involving Miss Trunchbull and the ensemble. The ensemble along with Dueker made this number entertaining and humorous to watch.

I think Aiello did a great job taking on the role of Matilda, her solo musical numbers and acting were strong. It was a big role to take on and I think she did an exceptional job.

The set design and lighting truly added a valuable touch. The Orchestra conducted by Matthew Dean was remarkable and made the musical numbers captivating. The ensemble was talented and one of my favorite parts to watch.

Matilda was a really well put together and entertaining production by Bear Stage, the hard work from the entire cast and crew surely showed.

Haley Graduated from Fresno State in May 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts in Media Communications & Journalism. While her emphasis is Multimedia Haley took classes on reporting and media writing. She has a passion for her major and strives to be versatile as she can in her field. During her last semester at Fresno State she was an intern at CMAC. She gained hands on experience working on live productions for the community.