MATILDA at John W. Engeman Theater
Nov. 21, 2019
By Melissa Giordano
Northport’s John W. Engeman Theatre does it again with a thrilling production of Tony award-winner Matilda, the musical. The lavish incarnation, superbly directed by Igor Goldin, runs at the exquisite Long Island venue through December 29th. And, based on the audience reaction opening weekend, you may want to get your tickets quickly.
Based on the classic 1988 Ronald Dahl children’s book, we follow five-year-old Matilda. She’s precocious, loves to read, and, unfortunately, has a horrible family. However, she knows what she wants and her worth which is beyond amazing. It is also hilarious when she gets revenge on everyone who have been needlessly unkind to her.
Elsa Dees and AnnaBelle Deaner alternate the titular role. Elsa is enjoyable, has great stage presence for someone so young, and brings lots of laughs when needed as this show is kind of an emotional roller. I had the pleasure of previously seeing AnnaBelle in productions of Annie and Once at the Engeman. She is such a firecracker and also a great choice to portray Matilda. It is also a treat seeing Michael Perrie, Jr. back on the Engeman stage as Mr. Wormwood, Matilda’s rotten father. He does put a great comedic spin on the role. In all honesty, the entire company is truly top-notch.
On the brilliant creative team, Nate Bertone‘s set is well done. Enhanced by Jose Santiago’s atmospheric lighting and Mara Newbery Greer’s entertaining choreography, you will be captivated by this production as you leave the theatre. Leave it to the Engeman for another visually stunning show.
The Engeman will not disappoint and this is indeed a must see for the holiday season. A top quality production, talented & beautiful cast, and a classic tale make for an exhilarating evening of theatre.