Last night a bunch of us children’s lit types (that’s Betsy Bird above) were fortunate enough to be invited to the second preview of the new Broadway show Matilda the Musical. Having loved the London production I saw last August I was curious what this one would be like and I’m happy to report that it is just as good. In particular, Sophia Gennusa, for whom last night was her very first as Matilda, was outstanding. As in London, the kids stole the show; they are absolutely remarkable, every single one of them. For me standouts among the adults included Bertie Carvel as Miss Trunchbull (he was gone by the time I saw the London production), Lauren Ward (who shocked me as she seemed exactly like the Miss Honey I’d seen I London and then I read that she WAS the same person,) and Gabriel Ebert –new to the show–as an incredibly supple, slippery, and somehow still appealing-at-the-very-end Mr. Wormwood.
I feel the same about it as when I first saw it last summer when I wrote:
The heart of Dahl’s book is maintained beautifully with some lovely adjustments that simply strengthen it overall for the stage. Say a lovely running theme of Matilda’s storytelling prowess along with a new character who is a librarian.
Thank you, Penguin Young Readers, so much for inviting us.
Here’s the television spot:
And here is another promotional video I posted once before, but am again because I like it so much: