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Show Guide: Matilda the Musical

Going to The Rose Guide Header SHOW GUIDE: Roald Dahl’s “Matilda” at The Rose Theater


It’s almost time for our next production, Roald Dahls’ Matilda the Musical,
a musical based on the popular film!

We’ve assembled some special information to help you and your family to get ready for the upcoming performance. Before you go to the show, you might want to take a few moments
to review this “Know Before You Go” Guide so everyone will know what
to expect from the performance!

The Story You Will See

Matilda Wormwood is a small girl with a big imagination and a kind demeanor who has the terrible misfortune to be born into a family of very unkind and selfish people. Mr. Wormwood is an incompetent con-artist who can’t even remember that Matilda is a girl (he thinks boys are better), and Mrs. Wormwood is a vain and self-absorbed ballroom dancer who is much more concerned about her pursuit of competition trophies than being a mother. As a way of escaping her less-than-perfect life at home, Matilda frequently escapes to the library where she regales the librarian Mrs. Phelps by making up enchanting fanciful stories of an Escapologist and his Acrobatic wife who perform death-defying feats (which sometimes have details that mirror Matilda’s life). However, when Matilda starts school, her situation goes from bad to worse: she has a very kind and supportive advocate in her teacher, Miss Honey, but the entire school suffers a ruthless reign of terror under the leadership of the school’s horrifying headmistress, Miss Trunchbull. Miss Trunchbull uses medieval methods of dastardly discipline to demand order through fear and intimidation. As she witnesses classmate after classmate being victimized by the terrible Trunchbull (with thrilling and sometimes amusing consequences!), Matilda’s anger and resentment over the unfairness of it all strains to the breaking point. Will Miss Honey find the courage and confidence to stand up for Matilda and her classmates before it’s too late? Or will Matilda and all of the children that Miss Trunchbull finds so “revolting” discover their true voice and power and find a clever way to use their intelligence to bring justice to the school?
Sponsored by:
JUN 7-30, 2019 | 2 hours + intermission | Broadway’s Biggest Little Hero for ALL AGES
The Characters You’ll Meet

  • MATILDA WORMWOOD—a bright young girl with less-than supportive parents that actively resent and neglect her. She is about to start school and thoroughly enjoys reading and frequently escapes to the library where she dreams up fanciful stories.

  • MR. AND MRS. WORMWOOD—Matilda’s terribly unkind and incredibly selfish parents who are both are much more concerned with their interests and physical possessions than knowledge or kindness. They have no desire to have a daughter and constantly tell Matilda that they wish she was a son instead.

  • MISS HONEY—Matilda’s meek but competent and very heart-centered teacher. Miss Honey is a kind and capable educator who sees the very best in her students, but she completely lacks confidence in herself. She is extremely intimidated by authority figures—especially Miss Trunchbull, the ruthlessly authoritarian headmistress at Matila’s school.

  • MISS TRUNCHBULL—the wicked headmistress of Matilda’s school who aggressively wields her authority and power to terrify her students and staff to assure that she maintains order and discipline through fear. Miss Trunchbull is highly suspicious, ruthlessly uncaring, and intensely disrespectful of her students and staff. She cleverly manipulates situations and disciplines children through alternative—and often abusive—means to make sure no one challenges her position or policies.

  • MRS. PHELPS—The attentive and emotional librarian at the library where Mailda frequently goes to get away from her family. Mrs. Phelps is quite enchanted by the imaginative tales that Matilda conjures during their visits, and she is very invested in their cliffhanger—and tragic—turnes of events.

  • AMANDA, BRUCE, LAVENDER, and many other students—Matilda’s Classmates at the school where Miss Honey teaches and Miss Trunchbull reigns in terror. Some of these classmates experience the unpleasantly extreme disciplinary measures deployed by Miss Tunchbull, with distressing but also rather humorous results!

    Know Before You Go
    Here are some things your family might like to “Know Before You Go”:
    • Matilda the Musical is based on a novel by Roald Dahl who is known for his terrifically clever and hugely popular, but sometimes dark and ironic, stories for children. This story definitely has some moments when Matilda and her classmates are in tense, dangerous, and even abusive situations. You may want to prepare young viewers for what they are going to see to reassure them about the fiction nature of the story.

    • Matilda is born to two parents who don’t love her and treat her horribly. She cannot count on them at all and they are unkind to her in very blunt and ugly ways. Some younger audience members might find some of Mr. and Mrs. Wormwood’s words and deed to be upsetting.

    • Miss Trunchbull is a cruel and contemptible authority figure (young audience members might liken her to a school principal) who utilizes unusually harsh methods to discipline the children at her school. The character relishes her own horrible behavior and is played in an over-the-top villainous way. She physically and emotionally abuses her students (albeit in cartoonish ways on stage) on a regular basis throughout the story, and her even harsher punishments—like a mysterious medieval torture device she calls “The Chokey”—are referenced as happening off-stage. Most of this is presented in an exaggerated way that most children will find silly, but your family may also want to be prepared discuss the fictional details to alleviate any fears about what happens to the actors playing the characters.

    • Because Matilda’s circumstances are a bit sad and scary, she is quite comfortable with tragic characters and tragic endings. As she creates her own stories out of her imagination as she talks to the librarian, she often includes “unhappy” events and endings. You may want to have a discussion with your family about why Matilda might tell the stories she does.

    • The songs in Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical are full of clever lyrics and turns of phrase which are sometimes delivered in a rapid rhythm. Your young person might miss a few words or references and have some questions later about the details.

      From Story to Stage

        • Matilda by Roald Dahl was originally published in 1988 and was adapted into a film in 1996.

        • Roald Dahl is famous for writing many modern classic novels for young people, including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, The B.F.G. (Big Friendly Giant), and many others.

        • Composer & lyricist Tim Minchin (who also wrote the music for Groundhog Day: The Musical) and book writer Dennis Kelly collaborated on a musical adaptation to bring Dahl’s infamous heroine to the stage.

        • Roald Dahl’s Matilda the MusicalL opened on London’s West End in November 2011, and won a record-setting seven Olivier awards.

        • Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical transferred to Broadway in April 2013 and received five Tony awards.

        Help us bring the joy of reading to children
        throughout the Omaha area with A BOOK OF MY OWN!
        We invite you to share the love of books and reading with other children in our area.
        When you come to Matilda, please bring one or more gently-used books for ages 0-18 to donate to our book drive. Acceptable books should be in “gift or saleable condition” with no torn covers, ripped pages,
        writing, chewed marks or water damage. Please be mindful of subject manner.
        Available at Intermission of Matilda
        Theater Location
        The Rose is located in downtown Omaha at 2001 Farnam Street on the southwest corner of 20th & Farnam Streets.

        From west Omaha, take I-80 East to 1-480 North and exit onto 20th Street. The Rose is located on Farnam Street, approximately three blocks south of the 20th Street exit.

        Convenient Parking
        The closest and most convenient parking is available for $2 in the garage at 19th & Harney, courtesy of the Omaha Douglas Public Building Commission (1910 Harney St., Omaha, NE 68102). Parking meters surrounding the theater are active from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Saturday, with free parking available on Sundays and holidays. A variety of parking lots are available around the theater, as well, ranging in cost from $2-$5.

        2019-201 MEMBERSHIPS ON SALE NOW!
        Raise the curtain and light the lights! The Rose welcomes you to the 70th season of children’s theater in Omaha!

        Over the past 70 years, The Rose has been dedicated to enriching the lives of children and families with live theater and arts education. As we take the stage in 2019, we invite you to join us in a year-long celebration of the wonder, excitement and thrill that helps kids’ imaginations bloom. Welcome to the next 70 years of children’s theater at The Rose!


        Go, Dog. Go!
        Aug. 30 – Sept. 15, 2019

        The Cat in the Hat
        Sept. 27 – Oct. 13, 2019

        Ella Enchanted
        Oct. 25 – Nov. 10, 2019

        The Diary of Anne Frank
        Feb. 28 – Mar. 15, 2020

        Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed: The Rock Experience
        Mar. 27 – Apr. 11, 2020

        Apr. 24 – May 10, 2020

        Here are just a few of the special features you can expect this season at The Rose:

        • * Celebrity guest Howie D. from the Backstreet Boys will take the stage in January with his original semi-autobiographical musical, Howie D: Back in the Day.

        • * A new First Stage+ Package will give young people a jumpstart into the world of theater with tickets to our two First Stage shows, one mainstage show and two sample dance and drama classes.

        • * Elf the Musical returns for the 2019 holiday season, giving even more families the opportunities to enjoy Dan Chevalier’s energetic portrayal of Buddy the Elf in a tale of Christmas chaos certain to put you in the holiday spirit.

        What will never change is The Rose’s ongoing commitment to providing high-quality family entertainment at an exceptional value. We look forward to serving you during the 2019-20 season!
        While at The Rose
        Have a Refreshment!
        Cookies, soft drinks and water will be available at intermission. All items cost $1 and the proceeds go to support educational programs at The Rose.

        Join Our Post-Performance Q&A Session!

        A few minutes after the performance, our actors will conduct a Question & Answer session from the stage. It’s a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the scenery, costumes, special effects, and other aspects of the production. The actors may even have a question or two for you about the story.

        Meet the Cast & Get an Autograph!
        Some performers will be available after the show to say hello, pose in pictures, and sign their autographs for you. You can meet them on the mezzanine level right outside the entrance to our balcony level seats.

        Take Home a Souvenir!
        The Rose Guild presents a souvenir stand before and after each performance offering a variety of fun and inexpensive show-related mementos. The proceeds help to support the great education programs at The Rose Theater!

        Wait, There’s More!

        Renew Your Membership!
        2019-20 Rose memberships are now on sale. Rose members receive 4 free tickets to each of our regular season shows. For information, click here or visit The Rose Box Office. (And remember! Rose memberships make great gifts for families of all ages!)

        Grab a Theater Class Brochure!

        If you like what you saw on the stage and think you’d like to be a part of it, try taking a theater class here at The Rose Theater. We offer a wide range of arts classes for every interest and experience level.

        Visit our Website
        Please visit our website to read director’s notes, view production photos, read our blog and more.

        Box Office Assistance

        The Rose Box Office is open Monday through Friday from 9 am to 4:30 pm at (402) 345-4849.
        Information and ticketing is also available online at the-rose.local.

        The Rose Theater
        2001 Farnam Street
        Omaha, Nebraska 68102
        The Rose Theater, 2001 Farnam Street, Omaha, NE 68102, United States

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