Based on a novel by Roald Dahl, “Matilda the Musical” centers on a young girl who loves reading, helps the adults in her life through obstacles, and possesses the troubling gift of telekinesis. The Company Theatre is performing the musical Nov. 27 through Dec. 18 at its Norwell theater with evening and matinée performances.
Over the years the regional theater has offered family-oriented, holiday seasonal specials. This year’s offering is a musical based on a schoolroom mutiny. Set in an English private school run by a sadistic headmistress, it’s the tale of 9-year-old British heroine Matilda Wormwood, who stands up for her classmates and herself, supported by sympathetic teacher Miss Honey. “Armed with intelligence and telekinesis,” the theater said, Matilda “overcomes obstacles set in motion by her indifferent and self-indulgent parents.”
The show’s veteran director Zoe Bradford, who co-founded The Company Theatre in 1978, praised the musical production’s score and choreography and its success in distilling a warm message from a dark situation.
“The challenging high-energy choreography by Brad Reinking is truly breathtaking, especially as these young people take over their school in a well-deserved mutiny,” Bradford said. “We have set the show around the holidays, and we will send our audiences off with the warm feeling that joy can be achieved, even in a dark situation, and the best kind of family is one born out of love.”
Bradford also praised the show’s musical direction by Mel Carubia in the production intended “for the entire family.” Reese Racicot of Plymouth plays the bookworm who finds her inner magic in a Dahl story typical for its descent into the dark side before the child hero’s eventual triumph.
Tickets are $48 with premium seating available for $56. For a full performance schedule, to purchase tickets, or for more information, go to companytheatre.com.
Another upcoming musical offering in a different register, a concert by Milton Community Concerts, features “four musical dramas” from a new production by the activist opera company White Snake Projects. Called “Let’s Celebrate,” the program is described by concert series producer Timothy Steele as a “preview” of “four newly composed musical dramas highlighting living holiday traditions from various cultures in America.” The show is set to receive a fully staged premier later next month in Boston.
“Let’s Celebrate” will be performed at Milton’s First Parish, 535 Canton Ave., on Dec. 3 at 7 p.m. Steele called the program “a rare chance for local audiences to experience a ‘room run’ of the piece with piano before it moves into the theater for its tech and orchestra rehearsals.”
The production’s four pieces include “A Braided Light,” centered on “a woman diagnosed with Alzheimer’s as she contemplates her last celebration of Havdalah, a Jewish ritual marking the end of Shabbat.” It’s followed by “Firecrackers,” set during the Spring Festival as a new lunar year is celebrated in China. “Samiir’s Feast” tells the story of a man celebrating his first Christmas in this country after escaping death in Somalia. He recalls the holiday Eid al-Adha, which he celebrated with his mother. Finally, “Rosa” is about an adopted child separated from her family at the Mexican border who learns her origin after making an offering on the Day of the Dead.
Admission is “pay as you can.” Suggested donation is $20. Proceeds will go to support the Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center.
Among upcoming local library programs with a regional theme, Milton Public Library will host a hybrid — live, plus online — presentation on the history of cranberry growing in southeastern Massachusetts. Connected to a current library exhibition called “Rhapsody in Red: 200 years of Cranberry Growing in Massachusetts,” the talk will be given by cranberry grower Adrienne Kravitz of Bridgewater and sponsored by the Cape Cod Cranberry Growers’ Association. The program, on Thursday, Dec. 1, at 7 p.m., addresses the basics of the state’s cranberry industry and what happens on the bogs during the year’s four seasons.
Advance registration is required. Be sure to indicate whether you’re coming in person or participating via Zoom. The library’s cranberry exhibit will be on display from Dec. 1 through Dec. 31. The exhibit is part of the “Milton Grows” initiative, focused on gardening and sustainability.
On the holiday front, it’s time to turn on the lights at Eleanor Cabot Bradley Estate, a Trustees of Reservations property located in Canton. An award-winning “immersive” holiday light display called “Winterlights,” the display “features hundreds of thousands of lights” along with refreshments and other attractions. Winterlights runs Wednesdays through Sundays, including Friday, Nov. 25, and continues until Jan. 7, from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Tickets must be purchased online, in advance, at thetrustees.org/winterlights/.
Robert Knox can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.