Running since March 2013 The Royal Shakespeare Company's multi award- winning adaptation of Roald Dahl's beloved children's book about an extraordinary little girl comes to Broadway.
The Broadway production of Matilda closed January 1, 2017. For current Broadway show listings and tickets, please click here.
From the producers: "Matilda" is the astonishing story of an extraordinary little girl who overcomes rotten parents, a terrifying school, and a vicious head mistress....and proves that even if you're little, you can do big things.
"Matilda" premiered at the RSC's Courtyard Theatre in November 2010 and later transferred to London's West End, where it won an Olivier Award for Best Musical.
Here is the Broadway company of "Matilda" on the 2013 Tony Award broadcast - skip to :40 for the first number and then to 4:00 for the big finish.
Like the London original, the Broadway production of "Matilda" is directed by Tony winner Matthew Warchus. A Broadway veteran best know for staging plays (including the hit comedy "God of Carnage," for which he won a Tony), Warchus's previous foray into the Broadway musical world was the poorly-received "Ghost." With "Matilda," Matthew Warchus is back in top form, and his clever casting and inventive staging has been hailed by Broadway's toughest critics.
"Matilda" maintains a high level of cheeky mischief while hitting the requisite sentimental notes and a refreshing antiauthoritarian message. Warchus's pop-gothic staging, animated by Darling's herky-jerky choreography, revels in sight gags and gross-out set pieces. Minchin's score is a deft blend of Britpop, show tunes and Danny Elfman with clever (sometimes overly winking) lyrics that balance subversion with simple truths. "Matilda" is wickedly smart and wildly fun.
A witty musical adaptation of the beloved novel by Dahl and is true to his bleak vision of childhood as a savage battleground...It mostly delivers a thrilling blast of nasty fun, even if it's a bit swollen and in need of some fine-tuning. Warchus directs with [his] same addiction to special effects...but this time the hyperactivity fits perfectly. When everything is working, this is first-rate theater. But the score is a little bloated by songs that slow the action. And Kelly's book could see some more finessing.
Deliriously amusing, malevolent, heartwarming, head-spinning... Warchus and choreographer Darling have devised "Matilda" as a mad cartoon. 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.
The witty and hyper-literate score [is] by Minchin. Director Warchus packs the production with inventive touches, bolstered by Darling's playful choreography. There's a dip in momentum in the second act, with a longish lull. [The] tongue-twisting lyrics seem like a mouthful for very young performers. On the other hand, even when you fail to pick up a well-turned phrase or eye-rolling pun, you will probably find yourself responding like a just-tucked-in child at bedtime. You want to shout, "Again!"
New York Daily News
Lavishly inventive...In a choppy move, Matilda's game-changing telekinetic gifts reveal themselves so late that they feel shoehorned in. Minchin's score is a jaunty and agreeable mix of ditties, doodles and jingles that feel right for [the show's] cartoonish qualities. Multi-layered vocals go with the gobstopping staging by Warchus. While young audience members will eat up the special effects, adults will recognize a message about authoring your life.
New York Post
Arty and crowd-pleasing, irreverent and uplifting, appealing to children and adults..."Matilda" has it all. The musical captures Dahl's irreverent spirit and sadistic black humor. The victories are all the sweeter for not being handled sweetly. Minchin's witty, inventive score marries catchy melodies with rollicking multisyllable rhymes. Warchus sets a speedy pace and packs in broad physical comedy. It's only fitting that a show about a little girl in love with storytelling should do such a memorable job of it.
New York Times
Satisfying and subversive...[the show] works with astonishing slyness and grace to inculcate us with its radical point of view. Directed by Warchus, with a bright, efficient book by Kelly and addictive songs by Minchin...[who] is never merely clever, a restraint that speaks to this musical's point that intellect doesn't have to trump emotion. Mostly "Matilda" exists entirely on its own terms, to serve and to celebrate the story, without the hard-sell tactics that are usually a musical's lifeblood.
Inventive...The show is a surprisingly low-tech pleasure. Director Warchus, a master of character-defining physical comedy, has put big handfuls of tiny gifted actors and monstrous authority figures into [the] relatively simple set. The problem is a lack of auditory clarity...a special frustration given Kelly's word-loving dialogue and composer Minchin's deliriously articulate lyrics. Darling's choreography works wonders with tiny bodies...but you may wish you could hear the clever words over the din.
Affecting and enchanting... [The] libretto and score, in addition to being witty, convey a genuine affection for their 5-year-old heroine, and an interest in making her story resonate. Under Warchus' playful but sensitive direction, the children emerge as flesh-and-blood creatures, even while managing the sharp, exaggerated gestures that fuel Darling's invigorating choreography. If Minchin's wry melodies and lyrics sometimes try too hard to be clever, they can also convey real wonder and longing.
Exhilarating...Dahl's popularity rests not on the polish of his prose but on aggressively daredevil high spirits and the momentum of his plotting. Kelly's terrific book underlines all that but considerably strengthens the story. Minchin [provides] cheeky, sparky songs. But what really makes his numbers soar is the way they delineate character and drive narrative. Choreographer Darling seizes Minchin's punchy rhythms to galvanizing effect. What lifts the show is its overwhelming emotional kick.