MATILDA Reviews

LimelightMike
Broadway Legend
joined:6/21/06
MATILDA Reviews
Posted: 4/11/13 at 02:59am
Today is Thursday, April 11, marking the official opening night performance of MATILDA on Broadway. Roald Dahl's beloved children's book about a precocious bookworm with magical powers comes to life at the Shubert Theatre after enchanting London audiences. Under the direction of Matthew Warchus, previews began March 4. The cast features original West End star Bertie Carvel, who earned an Olivier Award for his portrayal of the malicious, pigtail-hating Miss Trunchbull. The Broadway cast also stars young actresses Sophia Gennusa, Oona Laurence, Bailey Ryon and Milly Shapiro, who share the title role.

According to producers, Matilda "is the story of an extraordinary little girl who decides that despite a bad beginning filled with rotten parents, a terrifying school and a vicious head mistress, her story is going to be an astonishing one. With the help of her teacher, her friends and a little bit of imagination, Matilda proves that even if you're little, you can do big things."
LimelightMike's 2010-2011 Theatergoing Schedule: THE PITMEN PAINTERS (10.03.10) A LIFE IN THE THEATRE (10.10.10) BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON (10.16.10) THE SCOTTSBORO BOYS (11.06.10) WOMEN ON THE VERGE OF A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN (11.13.10) BRIEF ENCOUNTER (11.22.10) THE PEE-WEE HERMAN SHOW (11.28.10) LA BETE (12.23.10) A SMALL FIRE (01.13.11) THAT CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON (03.09.11) ARCADIA (03.16.11) BLACK TIE (03.19.11) PRISCILLA: QUEEN OF THE DESERT (03.21.11) THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST (03.26.11) BENGAL TIGER AT THE BAGHDAD ZOO (03.30.11) GHETTO KLOWN (03.31.11) HOW TO SUCCEED... (04.07.11) ANYTHING GOES (04.12.11) JERUSALEM (04.20.11) SISTER ACT (04.29.11) iHO: (05.22.11)
broadway_show_fan
Broadway Star
joined:12/12/05
MATILDA Reviews
Posted: 4/11/13 at 09:32am
So excited to see what the reviews say, though I figure this is going to be a nice box office hit regardless of reviews.
goldenboy
Broadway Legend
joined:7/15/05
MATILDA Reviews
Posted: 4/11/13 at 06:38pm
Let's hope the critics get this one right.
bjh2114
Broadway Legend
joined:4/19/06
MATILDA Reviews
Posted: 4/11/13 at 06:41pm
Financial Times is positive (4 out of 5 stars):

"But Rob Howell’s glistening, Scrabble-tile set! And director Matthew Warchus’s high-energy, inventive stagecraft! And Bertie Carvel in drag as the nastily imposing headmistress, Miss Trunchbull! When you have such attributes you can afford to force audiences to lean forward a bit. The producers of this $16m transatlantic transplant, which was hatched by the Royal Shakespeare Company, took a risk by not Americanising it nor diluting the acid tones of the material, which began life as a 1988 book by Roald Dahl. The verdict: risk rewarded."

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/2/2a8bf774-a298-11e2-9b70-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2QCIw4UCf
dramamama611
Broadway Legend
joined:12/4/07
MATILDA Reviews
Posted: 4/11/13 at 06:44pm
What is "right"? Agreeing with you?

Some here LOVED, others thought it was mediocre, some disliked it -- so each reviewer has a chance for 1/3 of us to think s/he got it right.
If we're not having fun, then why are we doing it? These are DISCUSSION boards, not mutual admiration boards. Discussion only occurs when we are willing to hear what others are thinking, regardless of whether it is alignment to our own thoughts.
PlayItAgain
Broadway Legend
joined:11/8/11
MATILDA Reviews
Posted: 4/11/13 at 06:59pm
wow the Financial Times rarely gives anything that high a review, i think Matilda is going to have a good night.
broadwaydevil
Broadway Legend
joined:2/16/11
MATILDA Reviews
Posted: 4/11/13 at 07:09pm
AMNY is a rave!!

http://www.amny.com/urbanite-1.812039/theater-review-matilda-4-stars-1.5056914

But it turned out to be an incredibly intelligent, heartfelt and entertaining work that went on to achieve critical and popular success in London and now arrives on Broadway like a white knight sent to rescue a disappointing season for new musicals.
Scratch and claw for every day you're worth! Make them drag you screaming from life, keep dreaming You'll live forever here on earth.
bjh2114
Broadway Legend
joined:4/19/06
MATILDA Reviews
Posted: 4/11/13 at 07:22pm
Backstage is positive with a grade of B:

(Though I can't believe he compared the choreography to Spring Awakening's...)

"What distinguishes “Matilda” is its immersive physical production and staging. Rob Howell’s endlessly inventive set dominated by children’s blocks morphs hither and yon with dexterity and style, while his witty costumes provide just the right amount of comment. Hugh Vanstone’s slashing lighting combines with Simon Baker’s flexible sound and Peter Darling’s caffeinated choreography, which contains echoes of Bill T. Jones’ work on “Spring Awakening,” to reinforce the operatic heights of emotion to which kids can rise. Paul Kieve, who gets a credit for “illusion,” pulls off some nifty legerdemain.

...

“Matilda the Musical” resembles nothing so much as a highly sophisticated machine. It’s built to dazzle, and it does."


http://www.backstage.com/review/ny-theater/broadway/matilda-the-musical-royal-shakespeare-company-roald-dahl/
bjh2114
Broadway Legend
joined:4/19/06
MATILDA Reviews
Posted: 4/11/13 at 07:25pm
Bloomberg is a rave (5 out of 5 stars):

"Howell is also responsible for the belle lettres set, with its hidden words drawing our eye throughout the Shubert Theatre. Hugh Vanstone’s candy-colored lighting adds its own zing to the proceedings.

To their great credit, the writers and Warchus have underplayed the telekinetic powers with which Dahl endowed Matilda. One of this show’s many strengths is its reliance on human, not technological, magic.

The ensemble, young and old, boasts terrific performances across the boards. But the true amazement is in the unaffected yet utterly self-composed and irresistible performance of young Shapiro; I can only hope the other Matildas are equally enchanting."


http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-04-11/five-star-matilda-brings-roald-dahl-to-broadway-review.html
bpstar
Swing
joined:12/15/11
MATILDA Reviews
Posted: 4/11/13 at 07:28pm
I think the choreography is very "Spring Awakening" like, bjh2114. The moves are crisp and precise when need be, and completely frantic at other moments. Matilda's choreography meets Spring Awakening in different numbers, with the kid's using the moves to express their anger, joy, etc.

I think it's very much parallel.
xxdrewboy85xx
Broadway Star
joined:5/17/07
MATILDA Reviews
Posted: 4/11/13 at 07:31pm
^Any different then Darlings work on Billy Elliot though such as solidarity and Angry Dance? I think what makes Him such a great choreographer is his use of dance to express emotion. I personally wouldn't compare it to Bill T. Jones work on SA, and more that it is just his aesthetic for how he choreographs.
bjh2114
Broadway Legend
joined:4/19/06
MATILDA Reviews
Posted: 4/11/13 at 07:31pm
Uh... just because it's crisp and precise sometimes and frantic sometimes doesn't mean it's like Spring Awakening's movement at all. They are completely different styles. I'd put Matilda's choreography way closer to an Andy Blankenbuehler style than a Bill T Jones style.
furry_bean915
Understudy
joined:2/18/10
MATILDA Reviews
Posted: 4/11/13 at 07:33pm
Question about the show and the Bloomberg review:

When one girl is on for Matilda, do the other 3 girls sit out, or do they perform as part of the ensemble too? I was wondering because I read that Sophia Gennusa was playing Matilda tonight and saw that Bloomberg news commented on Milly Shapiro's performance...
xxdrewboy85xx
Broadway Star
joined:5/17/07
MATILDA Reviews
Posted: 4/11/13 at 07:35pm
^ no. One is on stand by and the other two are on rest and in school.
bjh2114
Broadway Legend
joined:4/19/06
MATILDA Reviews
Posted: 4/11/13 at 07:37pm
I was wondering because I read that Sophia Gennusa was playing Matilda tonight and saw that Bloomberg news commented on Milly Shapiro's performance...

Remember that the critics see the show in previews, NOT on opening night. So the critic saw Milly when he went last Saturday, but Sophia is performing tonight for the opening night crowd (though no press will be reviewing tonight).

Updated On: 4/11/13 at 07:37 PM
WiCkEDrOcKS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/13/04
MATILDA Reviews
Posted: 4/11/13 at 07:47pm
Washington Post is a rave:
"Dwelling among us, ladies and gentlemen, is a super-race of tiny entertainment machines. Disguised as children, they sing, act, dance, tumble and generally bedazzle, as if each of them has spent a whole lifetime or two in show biz.

A small army of them has invaded Broadway’s Shubert Theatre and, along with an astonishing adult performance by a heretofore unheralded British actor on these shores, Bertie Carvel, they form the captivating cadre of kids in “Matilda,” by some large and tickling measure the most splendiferous new musical of the year."


http://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/theater_dance/matilda-on-broadway-its-magic-and-not-just-for-kids/2013/04/11/6a407c9a-a2ee-11e2-bd52-614156372695_story.html
Current Avatar: Tony-winner Idina Menzel, delivering a sucker-punch of an 11:00 number, "Always Starting Over," in IF/THEN.
Updated On: 4/11/13 at 07:47 PM
PlayItAgain
Broadway Legend
joined:11/8/11
MATILDA Reviews
Posted: 4/11/13 at 07:51pm
if it gets a rave from NYT its got the best musical tony in the bag.
bjh2114
Broadway Legend
joined:4/19/06
MATILDA Reviews
Posted: 4/11/13 at 07:53pm
It already has the Tony in the bag.
Playbilly
Broadway Legend
joined:3/30/12
MATILDA Reviews
Posted: 4/11/13 at 07:54pm
Interesting to see Annie's grosses once this becomes THE show for little girls. The Annie producers were smart to start early.
"Through The Sacrifice You Made, We Can't Believe The Price You Paid..For Love!"
Matt Rogers
Broadway Star
joined:10/4/04
MATILDA Reviews
Posted: 4/11/13 at 07:57pm
There are so many psychics on this board! Sometimes I feel like I'm back on the Dionne Warwick Psychic Network.
PlayItAgain
Broadway Legend
joined:11/8/11
MATILDA Reviews
Posted: 4/11/13 at 08:01pm
^snark all you want, but its over, Matilda has the tony, you really think Motowns going to take it?
WiCkEDrOcKS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/13/04
MATILDA Reviews
Posted: 4/11/13 at 08:11pm
For what it's worth, The Telegraph is positive, with four out of five stars:

"In some ways, the original innocence of the piece has been lost. There’s a harder-edged quality to the New York staging: the general tenor is louder and more exaggerated, and the Gilbertian finesse of composer Tim Minchin’s astonishing lyrics didn’t translate for my companion, a first-timer to the show. At the same time, Bertie Carvel, making his Broadway debut, seems to have adjusted his award-winning termagant of a Trunchbull up a notch, his arm-flapping intensity lending the English actor the feel of a breast-plated whirligig.

But the tremendous heart and intelligence of the piece remains undimmed, and among the new recruits, special kudos must go to Gabriel Ebert’s Mr Wormwood: a lanky, sartorially challenged spiv with a knockout voice. And at the show’s capacious heart, one can only thrill to the tiny yet mightily determined Shapiro as she takes the audience on Matilda’s journey from a surrounding loutishness and neglect through to a world of learning, literature and, by the final curtain, love. I’ll vote for that."


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/theatre/theatre-reviews/9987399/Matilda-the-Musical-Shubert-Theatre-New-York-review.html
Current Avatar: Tony-winner Idina Menzel, delivering a sucker-punch of an 11:00 number, "Always Starting Over," in IF/THEN.
Updated On: 4/11/13 at 08:11 PM
Matt Rogers
Broadway Star
joined:10/4/04
MATILDA Reviews
Posted: 4/11/13 at 08:11pm
No way. But Kinky Boots at least has a ghost of a chance as an upset. You are probably right, and how boring if you are. But predict all you like........just like people were swearing that Wicked would win Best Musical. I guess this is a commentary on what a horrendous season this has been than anything else.
bjh2114
Broadway Legend
joined:4/19/06
MATILDA Reviews
Posted: 4/11/13 at 08:17pm
There is no way Kinky Boots is winning over Matilda. First of all, the reviews for Matilda are already way better than those for Kinky Boots. Secondly, Kinky Boots is merely fluff while Matilda actually has both artistic merit and widespread appeal. And finally, Matilda is way more easily marketable on the road than Kinky Boots.

And the Wicked/Avenue Q comparison isn't that apt since Matilda is receiving great reviews while Wicked's reviews were mixed.
WiCkEDrOcKS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/13/04
MATILDA Reviews
Posted: 4/11/13 at 08:21pm
The Associated Press is positive:

"The English hit "Matilda," which opened Thursday at Shubert Theatre, is a witty musical adaptation of the beloved novel by Roald Dahl and is true to his bleak vision of childhood as a savage battleground.

The musical arrives in New York with plenty of hype and awards, and it mostly delivers a thrilling blast of nasty fun, even if it's a bit swollen and in need of some fine-tuning. It also has come with perhaps its most grotesque masterstroke: Bertie Carvel as the fearsome cross-dressing school headmistress Miss Trunchbull."


http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5i4YmOZLw6PrjClmYdCaK0KuKYwCA?docId=2a87f0da6a744b39a19484c9b8b6b36f
Current Avatar: Tony-winner Idina Menzel, delivering a sucker-punch of an 11:00 number, "Always Starting Over," in IF/THEN.
bjh2114
Broadway Legend
joined:4/19/06
MATILDA Reviews
Posted: 4/11/13 at 08:21pm
The AP is positive:

"[Bertie Carvel] delivers one of the most chilling performances ever by a man in a too-high skirt. She's a hate-spewing headmistress built like a tank who was once an Olympic-class hammer thrower. She wields a gym whistle like a weapon, twirls a ribbon with panache, speaks in a flat, emotionless voice like Dr. Hannibal Lechter and at one point picks up a child by her pigtails and spins her around.

The heroine is played on a rotating basis by Sophia Gennusa, Oona Laurence, Bailey Ryon and Milly Shapiro. Oona was on duty as Matilda during a recent preview, and she proved a delightfully talented force, jumping around the stage with skill and yet also able to sing a pretty "Quiet.""


http://www.mercurynews.com/celebrities/ci_23007437/review-broadways-matilda-is-blast-nasty-fun

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