Birmingham based theatrical teacher, performer, and director, Michael Flowers, discusses the upcoming Red Mountain Theatre Company production of Matilda the Musical, a feel-good family musical about an extraordinary little girl with extraordinary powers.
Opening on Friday, July 12 and running until August 4 at the Dorothy Jemison Day Theater, Matilda the Musical is a stage musical based on Roald Dahl’s classic 1988 children’s novel. It will be performed by a huge cast involving very talented young actors from Red Mountain Theatre Company.
Limited seats remain for this production over the school summer vacation. See below about a sensory-friendly performance. If you purchase tickets use discount code Matilda7 to save $7 on price level 1 and 2 tickets.
Matilda The Musical
Matilda is a witty 5 year old girl, intelligent beyond her years, who happens to have extraordinary powers. Unloved and cruelly treated by her parents, Matilda finds comfort in reading books as well as developing a special bond with her loveable teacher, Miss Honey.
However, in addition to at home, Matilda’s school life is anything but easy! The schools ultra mean headmistress, Miss Trunchbull, hates children and loves to dream up horrible punishments for students who don’t follow her very tough rules.
Dreaming of a better life for herself, Matilda, armed with a vivid imagination and even sharper mind, sets on challenging those who treat her so cruelly, taking her destiny into her own little hands.
Bham Now caught up with Director of Matilda The Musical, Michael Flowers, to find out how he got involved with the Red Mountain Theatre Company and why Matilda is so special.
Bham Now: How did you get involved with Red Mountain Theatre Company?
Michael Flowers: I’ve been involved with RMTC on and off for over 25 years. I was first involved as a performer back when it was Summerfest and I was delighted to be invited to direct a couple of productions when the company moved to the Boutwell Auditorium; Peter Pan and Fiddler on the Roof. I later had the honor of serving as Executive Director, and was thrilled to be back on the stage last summer in Beauty and the Beast. I now have this wonderful opportunity to direct Matilda The Musical.
Bham Now: What’s the most fun part of being involved with Matilda – The Musical?
Michael Flowers: I’d say being surrounded by such creative people. I get to work with artists who are remarkable in every way. Being able to collaborate and just be in the same room as them is so much fun. It’s also a privilege to provide such a great opportunity for local kids to get up on stage, to act and sing. We have twice as many kids in this production in comparison to most other versions of this stage musical.
Bham Now: Were you a Roald Dahl fan prior to getting involved?
Michael Flowers: To be honest, I can’t really say that I was! I had not read the books, though I was aware of the book and a fan of Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. When I was offered the opportunity to direct Matilda, I read the book and it’s stayed with me for the best part of a year in the lead-up to opening.
Bham Now: What makes a good Matilda?
Michael Flowers: We have two actresses sharing the role of Matilda (Ramsey Whitney and Emma Sonnichsen as it’s such a huge role. Matilda is definitely one of the biggest roles for any young actor, even bigger than the stage role of Oliver Twist. The current production in London uses 4 young girls to share the role. It’s important to find actresses who can do the role of Matilda justice. Somebody really bright, with fantastic vocal skills, a generous heart and generous spirit.
Bham Now: Do you have a favorite moment in the show?
Michael Flowers: I’d definitely say the beginning of Act 2. We have a song “When I Grow Up” which is a kids perspective of what they think they’ll be able to do when they grow up. It’s a wonderful imagining of being able to go to bed late at night, eat sweets on the way to work, and there’s a wonderful line about being brave enough to fight the creatures beneath the bed each night. The kids in the audience will relate to it as well as the parents
Bham Now: Who should come to see Matilda The Musical, and why?
Michael Flowers: Everyone should see it! It’s a great show for both adults and children. Matilda is very much about the power of the individual. There’s a strong message that even the smallest of us can face the greatest of obstacles and make a huge difference. That’s what the show is about.
Get your tickets for Matilda the Musical
Join the talented young cast from Red Mountain Theatre Company for unforgettable songs, and the heartwarming story about a special little girl who uses her extraordinary powers to fulfil her dreams of a better life.
Showtimes are: Wed. – Sat. at 7.30pm and Wed., Thurs.,Sat., and Sun. At 2pm. Tickets start at $20.
Sensory-Friendly performance: Tuesday, July 16 at 2.00pm
Certain elements of the production are modified in an effort to create a welcoming and inclusive experience for patrons on the autism spectrum and their families. Among the modifications are:
- Reduction of loud sounds
- House lights stay on creating a dim light in the audience for the entire show
- Audience members are free to talk, make noise, and/or be active
- Extra staff and volunteer support
- “Quiet Room” available during the show
- Opportunity to “Meet Your Seat” a few days prior to the show by arranging an appointment (call 205-324-2424 or email firstname.lastname@example.org)
Purchase your tickets for the sensory-friendly performance now (Remember Use discount code BHam7 to save $7.00 on price level 1 and 2 tickets)! Limited seats. Child ticket prices also available.