Based on the 1988 novel of the same name by Roald Dahl, “Matilda” has been widely popular, and over the years, it has been adapted in various media, including an audio reading by actress Kate Winslet, a two-part BBC Radio 4 program, and the 2010–2011 musical Matilda the Musical, which ran on the West End in London, Broadway in New York, and around the world. Even one of the most recent film adaptations of the musical, Matilda the Musical, was released in 2022. It’s great to see that the magic of this children’s novel has endured the test of time by being true to its legacy.
We are certain that it will remain timeless for decades, as despite having so many iterations, fans have still talked about one of the very special versions, which still remains the most loved one out of the lot. Can you guess which one we are talking about? Yes, you are right. It’s the 1996 feature fantasy comedy film Matilda, which was co-produced and directed by Danny DeVito, that has become a cult classic!
From the original screenplay by Nicholas Kazan and Robin Swicord, the film stars Mara Wilson as the title character, with DeVito (who also served a dual role as the narrator), Rhea Perlman, Embeth Davidtz, and Pam Ferris in supporting roles. The plot centers on the titular child prodigy, who develops psychokinetic abilities and uses them to deal with her disreputable family and the tyrannical principal of her school. The film received positive reviews from critics, with praise directed towards its faithfulness to the novel and DeVito’s direction, which was widely appreciated!
It’s pleasantly surprising to see that in a world where countless movies come and go, there are only a few that manage to capture the hearts of audiences and leave an indelible mark on popular culture. One such film that has achieved this remarkable feat is none other than Matilda (1996). It is this cinematic masterpiece that has garnered an ever-growing love and admiration from fans around the globe. As time goes by, the fervor for this movie continues to intensify, captivating new generations and solidifying its place and impact extends far beyond the silver screen!
And this time around, the love of this movie will once again resonate with audiences as Danny DeVito recently revealed that he has plans to reunite with his Matilda co-star Mara Wilson for a concert event that would see them narrating the 1996 film. “Mara and I were planning to perform Matilda live with the New Jersey Philharmonic Orchestra just before the strike hit,” DeVito told The Messenger about the reunion that was postponed due to the SAG-AFTRA strike. Further adding, “We had it all set, but, after the strike hit, we couldn’t proceed because it would be seen as a promotion for a movie.”
He continued to address this situation by clarifying, “However, we’re still planning to do that. We’re going to watch the movie with David Newman’s score and try to do it sometime soon, as it seems the strike may be coming to an end — I hope!” If you recall, The Matilda in Concert event had been originally scheduled for September 9, 2023, at the State Theatre New Jersey but was postponed due to the actors’ strike, which is still far from being resolved as negotiations are still happening.
“Everyone involved in this production was very much looking forward to performing together this September, and we are disappointed to have to postpone it, but we look forward to holding the performance on a future date once the strike has concluded. We are working with the artists and venue on a new date for the performance and will communicate the new date once it is confirmed,” reads the official statement on the theater’s website.
We would also like to highlight that the website only mentioned DeVito as the narrator of the film, but according to the actor, Wilson is also seemingly going to make an appearance.
About Matilda in Concert
As per the official press release: The Matilda in Concert performance will include the acclaimed actor, producer, and director Danny DeVito who will also join famed film composer David Newman and the New Jersey Symphony in a very special performance of Matilda in Concert at State Theatre New Jersey. Come see New Jersey native DeVito narrate the film, while Newman’s enchanting score is performed live to picture!
Based on Roald Dahl’s award-winning book and directed by Danny DeVito, from a screenplay by Nicholas Kazan & Robin Swicord, Matilda is the story of a little girl (Mara Wilson) who loves books and wants to go to school. Belittled by mean parents and terrorized by a disparaging school headmistress, Matilda uses her secret telekinetic gift to stand up for herself, her friends, and the lovely Ms. Honey.
This humorous and touching coming-of-age story will have audience members young and old humming in their seats! In addition to this, the VIP package includes an exclusive pre-concert talk with Danny DeVito and David Newman, in which they share stories about the making of the film, and describe the process of performing live. It also includes a post-concert meet and greet and photo opp with Danny DeVito and David Newman.
Take a look at the official trailer of the Matilda in Concert below: