You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Matilda’ Crosses the Pond to Open on Broadway

Brit tuner finds its way to Great White Way

The four little girls who alternate in the title role of the Broadway musical “Matilda” — including Sophia Gennusa, whose name was picked from a hat to perform on opening — had a 10:45pm curfew, but that didn’t stop them from coming out to the show’s opening night party April 11.

Working with kid thesps has its challenges, of course, but plenty of benefits as well. “They’re so excited,” said Lauren Ward, who plays kindly schoolteacher Miss Honey in the show. “After 20 years in the business, it rubs off.”

At the Marriott Marquis soiree, the collaborators still seemed a little surprised by the success of the show, which won raves in London before doing it again on Broadway.

Book writer Dennis Kelly, now at work on the second season of his Channel 4 UK TV skein “Utopia,” said the musical’s commissioning org, the Royal Shakespeare Company, thought his lack of tuner experience might be an asset.

“I said, ‘I don’t know anything about musicals,’ ” he recalled. “They said, ‘Great!’ “

Still, no one took the task lightly. “Sometimes you’d think we were planning the invasion of a country, the way we were sitting around a table wrestling with a particular song or a particular moment,” said composer-lyricist Tim Minchin.

And despite the West End success, there were still plenty of nerves over whether the show would play as well on Broadway.

“It’s quite taxing,” director Matthew Warchus said of the transfer process. “It’s not good for the blood pressure.”

More Scene

  • Chanel x Tribeca Film Festival Women's

    Chanel's Tribeca Film Fest Luncheon Toasts to Women's Movements in Industry

    The four little girls who alternate in the title role of the Broadway musical “Matilda” — including Sophia Gennusa, whose name was picked from a hat to perform on opening — had a 10:45pm curfew, but that didn’t stop them from coming out to the show’s opening night party April 11. Working with kid thesps has its […]

  • Doug Davis Power of Law

    Doug Davis Discusses Using Music for a Cause at Variety's Power of Law Event

    The four little girls who alternate in the title role of the Broadway musical “Matilda” — including Sophia Gennusa, whose name was picked from a hat to perform on opening — had a 10:45pm curfew, but that didn’t stop them from coming out to the show’s opening night party April 11. Working with kid thesps has its […]

  • 'The Handmaid's Tale'

    'The Handmaid's Tale' Cast, Creator Talk Season 2 in #MeToo Era, Expanding Gilead

    The four little girls who alternate in the title role of the Broadway musical “Matilda” — including Sophia Gennusa, whose name was picked from a hat to perform on opening — had a 10:45pm curfew, but that didn’t stop them from coming out to the show’s opening night party April 11. Working with kid thesps has its […]

  • The Future She Built

    Inventor of the Inclusion Rider Discusses Why the Initiative Is Necessary at Panel

    The four little girls who alternate in the title role of the Broadway musical “Matilda” — including Sophia Gennusa, whose name was picked from a hat to perform on opening — had a 10:45pm curfew, but that didn’t stop them from coming out to the show’s opening night party April 11. Working with kid thesps has its […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content