By: Kent Pierce

January 29, 2015

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)- Matilda the Musical is coming to New Haven’s Shubert Theater this spring, but starting today, kids are learning more about the play, the book, and the message in Roald Dahl’s story about the power of reading and learning.

News8 stopped by the Worthington-Hooker School to hear how students are getting to know the story of Matilda on their own.

“If her parents are beastly to her, she plays a little joke on her parents,” said second grader Hannah Guo.

“There’s a pitcher and a cup on the desk and Matilda pushed it over with her eyes,” according to second grader Oscar Monahan.

The reason people in New Haven are so excited about Matilda the Musical is because right now it’s only on Broadway. The national tour is going to debut at the Shubert in May. Just as the Shubert used to be the place Broadway shows would start out before going to New York, the Shubert is going to be the first stop in the national tour.

As part of a larger grant to the Shubert, First Niagara Bank is donating a copy of Roald Dahl’s book Matilda to go in every elementary school library in New Haven.

“We’re happy we could be behind donating this great book to all the schools and libraries in this district and helping all the kids learn this great musical,” said First Niagara Regional Director David Cantor.

The second graders at the Worthington-Hooker school even put together their own musical version of the book. They’ll be going to see the show when it open at the Shubert, but maybe they really should be performing. News8 asked the Shubert’s Executive Director if he thought the performance was Shubert-worthy.

“Oh, absolutely,” said Executive Director John Fisher. “We’ll have to book them for the stage.”

Not only are those second graders good singers, they’re good readers. The school’s principal tells News8 that Matilda is really more of a fourth grade level book. Matilda’s National Tour debuts at the Shubert on May 16th.

Link to video package: