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one Annie vs. four Matildas?

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HenryTDobson
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one Annie vs. four Matildas?#1
Posted: 1/23/13 at 8:49pm
So I'm sure this has been discussed before (I'm sorry, I couldn't find any of the old threads) but I was wondering why there are four girls playing the role of Matilda, and only one is needed for the role of Annie. Is Matilda that exhausting of a part? The dancing in Billy Elliot was obviously very intense; no one would expect one child to perform that role eight times a week. But with Matilda dancing doesn't seem to be a factor. Is there an equity rule about age and how many shows a child can perform?

Sorry if this is at all confusing; I've been wondering this for a while. While I have yet to see Matilda, I hope the Matildas aren't a shoe in for the Tony since they will only be performing half the shows a week compared to their fellow nominees, which just does not seem fair.
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one Annie vs. four Matildas?#2
Posted: 1/23/13 at 8:54pm
I see where you're coming from. However, based upon things I've heard, it doesn't seem that Lilla Crawford (Annie) typically performs all 8 eight shows a week. She has two standbys who seem to go on for her often. I could be under the wrong impression, though.
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one Annie vs. four Matildas?#2
Posted: 1/23/13 at 8:58pm
I think it had to do with British child labor laws. In London they HAD to split the role and I think the producers are just carrying that over, especially to reduce the "you have to see THIS girl!"

I could also be wrong, but isn't Matilda supposed to be in kindergarten? Annie is usually 10-13.
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one Annie vs. four Matildas?#3
Posted: 1/23/13 at 9:13pm
Billy Elliot did it as well but the role of Billy is too demanding to be done by one child eight shows a week, I think Mary Poppins has 6 children alternating the roles of Michael and Jane while Newsies has two children who alternate the role of Les, not sure on The Lion King but I assume they have more than one Young Simba and Nala.
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one Annie vs. four Matildas?#4
Posted: 1/24/13 at 2:18am
It's recognised that Matilda is the most demanding child role ever written, but it's more to do with the UK Labour laws.

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one Annie vs. four Matildas?#5
Posted: 1/24/13 at 11:19am
No offense to the Matildas, but they've got nothing on the difficulty and demands of the kids who play Billy Elliot. Just by shear training required I think it is safe to say Billy is a much more demanding role.
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one Annie vs. four Matildas?#6
Posted: 1/24/13 at 11:28am
I saw MATILDA in London, and was sure that the role was going to be split between two actresses here in the States.

I know the UK child labor laws are strict, which is why four actresses are required. But I didn't think the part was overly taxing to the point of needing four actresses.
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one Annie vs. four Matildas?#7
Posted: 1/25/13 at 3:43am
It is worth pointing out that the original Billy's were 3-4 years older than the original Matilda's! And at various points there have been 3 Matilda's when contracts have ended, but equally for a while there was 5! I think they just like having 4 so they don't have to rehearse any standbys!

Updated On: 1/25/13 at 03:43 AM
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one Annie vs. four Matildas?#8
Posted: 1/25/13 at 5:10am
I think it was a factor with not needing standbys AND having enough to cover the role. So if child labour laws here meant they needed 3 they've stuck with 4 just to always be covered and cut the work of needing the standbys (as there's always one of the regulars in the building on standby)

I haven't seen the show so can't comment on how demanding it is, but I think it is also an age factor, them being younger than the Billy's or Annies.
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one Annie vs. four Matildas?#9
Posted: 1/25/13 at 8:00am
No matter how old the child is the youngest that can be on Broadway is 6 yo by law. Yes a child can perform 8 shows a week. It's quite taxing the younger the child. The size of the role is also important. A small role still demands the same hours but not the same tax on the body.
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one Annie vs. four Matildas?#10
Posted: 1/25/13 at 8:37am
In london we have multiple Debbies, Michaels and Ballet girls to comply with the limit on hours a child can work.

It always stands out more to have multiples of kids because they dont tend to understudy from other roles as adults do.
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one Annie vs. four Matildas?#11
Posted: 1/25/13 at 12:29pm
It's recognised that Matilda is the most demanding child role ever written

Recognized by whom?
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one Annie vs. four Matildas?#12
Posted: 1/25/13 at 1:29pm
There's much discussion of labors laws and comparison to Billy Elliot and Annie.
1. There requirement in the US for child performances is more relaxed than UK.
2. The performers in both the aforementioned shows are older.
3. Sadly, they raised the keys for Annie and it was already tough.
4. The girls in Matilda are 10.
5. The score is TOUGH and intense.
6. I'm not sure how any comparison can be made to a show you've never seen...unless you saw it in London...
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one Annie vs. four Matildas?#13
Posted: 1/25/13 at 2:57pm
I saw it in London.

The score to what is tough and intense? MATILDA? Certainly not as intense as the role of Annie or Mary Lennox.