FORT MYERS, Fla. – ‘Matilda’ is a show for anyone who has ever faced adversity or a bully in their life.
A little girl with a big spirit, beautifully played by Mia Zottolo, who captures your heart from the moment she enters the stage. She begins to conquer the obstacles she faces at home with her parents who don’t want her, and her miseries at school where she unleashes her girl power and begins to right the wrongs she encounters along the way. Her solo performance of “Quiet” is phenomenal and delivered with emotion that made time stand still.
The show begins with Matilda’s birth to two self centered parents: Mr. Wormwood, a used car salesman played by Chance Clinton, and Mrs. Wormwood, a mother who cares only about dancing, less about mothering, played by Sophie Hagan. Hagan has a strong and beautiful voice to match her acting abilities.
Stealing the show is the child hating Miss Agatha Trunchbull, the headmistress of Matilda’s school, played by Nathan Ross. He delivers a fierce antagonist bully feared by the students. Trunchbull delivers all of his lines with the no nonsense madness the character is known for. Ross commands the stage whether he’s swinging a student by pigtails or forcing another to eat chocolate cake, reminding us all of the villainous teacher we feared.
A special mention in this show, undoubtedly, goes to Elizabeth Fleetham, who plays the unassuming librarian, Mrs. Phelps. She is an otherwise kind motherly figure, but it’s her comedic physical nerdy comedy that had me loving this character, who I never thought much of in other performances.
This show lived up to its challenge and gave every student a chance to share the lessons of life, and even the non-speaking parts shine in this production that was beautifully choreographed by Kayley Jayne Steven. She clearly spent time weaving the students around motifs of alphabet blocks and chalkboards in this fast paced comedy.
Matilda runs through October 19 a the Florida Repertory Theater.
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