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The North Star

Following the news since 1972

The North Star

Following the news since 1972

The North Star

    North impresses with “Matilda: The Musical”


    Oshkosh North’s music department got Matilda’s memo. They produced the musical “Matilda: The Musical” at The Oshkosh Grand Opera House, from February 15 to February 18.

    Matilda is a musical about a young girl with extraordinary powers who is unsupported by her family, and has a lot of terrible things happen to her. But, she still manages to come out on top. 

    Matilda: The Musical was written by the famous author, Roald Dahl, who is also the author of “James and The Giant Peach”, “The Big Friendly Giant”, and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”.

     “It’s an important story about fighting for what’s right, even when you’re the underdog and no one will listen,” said junior Hannah Fiser, who played the lead role of Matilda. 

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    Fiser, who had no experience acting as a younger role in musicals, explained playing younger characters unlocks a different mindset.

    “Playing younger characters gives you the mindset of childhood wonders and getting to reminisce.”

    Senior Delilah Larson-Poeschl starred as Miss Trunchbull, the overbearing and downright mean principal of Matilda’s school. The role of Ms. Trunchbull requires a mean, domineering adult.

    “I don’t relate to my character, which allows me to dive deeper into my character, so it doesn’t have to exist in my realm.”

    Senior Brooklyn Williams played Matilda’s meek, friendly teacher, Ms. Honey. 

    Similarly, Williams found her role challenging because her character had a personality opposite to hers.

    “Ms. Honey is interesting, and I’m not used to acting like her. She’s really quiet and seems afraid to stand up for herself. I’m not like that,” Williams said.

    In addition to difficulty fulfilling a character role so different from themselves, students also needed to learn British accents since “Matilda: The Musical” takes place in the United Kingdom.

    “Matilda: The Musical” was director Bridget Duffy-Ulrich’s 13th production, following her hire after longtime choir director, Randy Zentner, retired. Zentner still assists with the sound production.

    The musical features several well known songs, including “Miracle,” “The Smell of Rebellion,” “Revolting Children,” “When I Grow Up,” and, of course, “Naughty.”

    Larson-Poeschl was especially proud of the choreography.

    “It’s such an incredible display of commitment. We put a lot of work into the choreography and the music.”

    She also noted that Matilda is different and unique compared to other musicals that North students have participated in, such as 2023’s “Big Fish” and 2022’s “Guys and Dolls.” 

    “For one, there’s no blackouts. All the scenes melt together. The stage is never black because the story is always progressing. The music is so complex, and all the different characters have musical motifs that come back throughout the show.”

    Williams explained Matilda: The Musical also had interaction with the audience, which was absent in North’s past musicals. 

     “[In] the beginning of act two, there’s interaction with the audience when that doesn’t normally happen.”

    Williams believes the musical’s theme provided a relatable experience for everybody overall.

     “This [play] is one everyone can relate to, like the parts of the musical that show being naive. Everyone has experienced that ‘when I grow up I’ll be strong enough to fight the monsters under the bed’”.

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    Spencer Diven
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