Matilda is a little girl who is far too good to be true. At age five-and-a-half she’s knocking off double-digit multiplication problems and blitz-reading Dickens. Even more remarkably, her classmates love her even though she’s a super-nerd and the teacher’s pet. But everything is not perfect in Matilda’s world. For starters she has two of the most idiotic, self-centered parents who ever lived. Then there’s the large, busty nightmare of a school principal, Mrs. (“The”) Trunchbull, a former hammer-throwing champion who flings children at will and is approximately as sympathetic as a bulldozer. Fortunately for Matilda, she has the inner resources to deal with such annoyances: astonishing intelligence, saintly patience, and an innate predilection for revenge.
There’s no better feeling than passing on something you’re passionate about to the next generation. Recently, my eight year old niece stayed the night with me and my husband and I asked her if she wanted to watch a movie. Seeming to be less than enthusiastic about this idea, I put on a movie I wanted to see. Selfish? Yeah. I told her it would be background noise while we played board games.
What happened quite surprised me.
While playing the game, my niece would periodically space out, her attention falling to the movie.
Then, when we were finished playing games, she wanted to watch the movie from the beginning because there were parts she missed due to the excitement of the game. (The game, by the way, was a card game where a penguin would flick cards out at you and you had to match the pictures on the cards with the decription given. It was pretty awesome.)
Next morning, I woke up and went downstairs to make myself some coffee. I stopped in the living room first to check on my niece and what should be playing on the TV? MATILDA!
I have never been prouder. Matilda is one of my absolute favorite children’s stories. Second only to Caps for Sale.
But that’s not all. About a week later I walked the block to my sister-in-law’s house for family dinner and my niece says to me, “Guess what me and my friend watched last night?”
“Matilda?” I asked.
She nodded her head, looking pretty happy with herself. I was beaming.
And that’s not all! Another week went by and at family dinner she told me that Matilda is the book they have to read for school. The excitement in her face nearly brought me to tears. The excitement in her face was because of an incidental happenstance where I put on a movie for “back-ground” noise and ignited a passion in my niece much as the book had for me nearly fourteen years ago.
Good stories are timeless. Multi-generational. I love the fact that a book can bring fire to a person based on the relatability of the characters and twenty years later the same story can invoke passion of the same caliber.
I have to add one more exciting thing about Matilda. She’s hitting Broadway! That’s right! Unfortunately for me, it’s only in New York or the UK. Nothing in Chicago. Boo. Check out more information here:
- Get pumped for ‘Matilda the Musical’ on Broadway – EXCLUSIVE VIDEO (family-room.ew.com)
- Go Behind the Scenes of MATILDA THE MUSICAL with New “Journey to Broadway” Video (boneaubryanbrown.com)
- MATILDA Box Office Opens 1/21 (broadwayworld.com)