Stop reading right now and get your tickets to Matilda the Musical (if you don’t have them already).

All set? Good. Now you and the kids in your life can eagerly anticipate experiencing one of the best productions I’ve seen at Northwest Children’s Theater.

Staging a Tony-award-winning musical is not for the faint of heart, and NWCT and this incredibly talented cast prove they’re up for the task. The actors — adults, teens, and kids — all make everything seem effortless thanks to their amazing dedication, hard work, and a true love for the show. I’m not one to give standing Os willy-nilly, but this time I was on my feet without any hesitation. Portland theater awards are surely in store for several actors and NWCT. (Yes, it’s that good.)

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Matilda the Musical is recommended for ages 6 and up. There’s a part that involves the death of a parent and the loss of another. It’s told through a narrative that’s so heartbreaking, you could feel the sadness and the heavy hearts in the room.

The show clocks in at 2 hours and 15 minutes, plus a 15-minute intermission. Engaging characters (have I mentioned the incredible cast?), smart humor, and the enthralling story make the time fly. My almost-9-year-old loved it and would turn to me in excitement when she knew what part was coming up. (We’d just finished reading the book, so everything was fresh in our minds—maybe too fresh, since she would ask questions like, “What about the parrot?”). My almost-12-year-old, who read it three years ago (and is now rereading it, much to my delight), got a kick out of Mr. Wormwood’s absurd antics and his ode to the telly.

Get a closer look at Mr. Wormwood’s green pompadour while collecting autographs and getting photos with the cast in the lobby after the show. And check out the timeline of Matilda the Musical in the main hall. But before you leave the auditorium, take a few minutes to admire the art of Quentin Blake on the back wall.

Matilda the Musical runs through January 5 at Northwest Children’s Theater, and tickets are going fast. (Several performances were nearly sold out at time of writing.) See the NWCT website for more information on ASL-interpreted and audio-described performances. If you’re going by car, there’s a small parking lot, plus metered spots west of NW 17th Ave. and non-metered time-limit spots between I-405 and NW 17th.

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Jade Chan
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