Matilda: fun but not magic

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Last night was opening night of both Matilda and the season for Starlight Theater in Kansas City. This year is the first year we have attended on Tuesdays, and thus the first year for us to see opening night.

When we arrived they were still rehearsing on the stage. It was sort of nice to see some of that as we wandered from one side of the theater to the other, on our way to trying out the new dining experience, which was also having its opening night.

This year Starlight has taken its dining in-house, with two Applause Club options along with renamed and themed food vendors. The overall look and layout is well-thought out for the to-go spots, and the setup was generally good for the Applause Club.

We have selected the Best of Broadway upscale dining experience. It was nice, upscale, classy. But hopefully they are working out some of the kinks still. The foods on the buffet could be broken out into a few sections: salads, two types of entrees, desserts, yet they put them all together in one long buffet plus dessert buffet. If they had broken the salads into a separate section it would have decreased crowding and improved the flow.

The wait staff was attentive enough, but sometimes a little slow in clearing and refreshing drinks. A little more polish would go a long way.

The opening menu had some items that looked really good in print. I always enjoy a Waldorf salad; so I was slightly disappointed by this one. On the other hand, I am not a fan of Quinoa, but the serving of this with butternut squash was actually quite tasty.

As for the show, I didn’t come away singing any songs, much less the one that the program “predicted” we would. “When I grow up” didn’t resonate with me, though it played an important part of the theme of the show. And the first song of the second act, which is almost a part of the intermission, was a great comic relief.

But some of Matilda’s actions with her parents left us stumped. And I didn’t get the idea of the “Revolting Children” song at the end.

But the acting was good, both from the seasoned adults and the children in the cast. The smoothness of the scenes with the children is perhaps one of the best features of the show. It was well produced.

So, we had and enjoyable night, wasn’t our favorite show, but definitely one worth watching, and worth the price of the ticket.

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