Matilda Mania: Even Google Is In On It

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Matilda opens on Broadway April 11th, a musical based on the children’s novel by Roald Dahl about a little girl with extraordinary powers, but it is clearly not like your normal children’s story:

That’s one of its British fans. The musical, with a book by Dennis Kelly and music and lyrics by Tim Minchin opened on the West End in November 2011 and went on to win an unprecedented seven 2012 Olivier Awards, the British Tonys, including Best Musical.

People on this side of the ocean have been listening eagerly to the music:

It is the kind of show that makes even staid publications of record sound like fanzines: “Matilda” isn’t just one of the most anticipated shows of the Broadway season,” wrote the New York Times. “This new musical is the theater’s latest shot at the dream of a global blockbuster, a rare glory that producers and audiences crave to offset all the duds that cross the stage each year.”

MatildamugA profile in The New Yorker Magazine of Tim Minchin, an Australian-born comic performer as well as a songwriter, quotes director Matthew Warchus as reacting to Minchin from the moment he saw him perform: “…he’s kind of a lyrical genius, his musicianship is fabulous, and he’s got that anarchic naughty quality — everything’s right.” And, besides all this, Warchus says he learned quickly that he can also make you cry. “He’s got his own secular kind of fervor. You tend to think of satire as a substitute for emotion, and he manages to entwine them.”


Even Google has gotten into the act, partnering with “Matilda” in “a magical week of activities” leading up to the opening, including Google Offers discounts on Matilda gift shop items and the London cast album.

In the weeks since the musical began previews at the Shubert Theater on March 4th, it has started selling 100 percent of the theater’s 1,449 seats, although its top ticket price at the moment of $250 is almost half that of The Book of Mormon. But Minchin is not the only one connected to Matilda with a “secular kind of fervor.” Audience members have it too, judging from random Tweets:

Matilda Sam S. Shubert Theatre

Author: New York Theater

Jonathan Mandell is a 3rd generation NYC journalist, who sees shows, reads plays, writes reviews and sometimes talks with people.

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