Carvel’s name won’t mean much to the general ticketbuying public, but the actor’s perf in the show was a major plaudit-magnet in the original U.K. production. He won an Olivier in the role, his second after taking one home in 2008 for his stint in Rob Ashford’s Donmar Warehouse revival of “Parade.”
Based on the 1988 Roald Dahl novel of the same name, the “Matilda” musical by playwright Dennis Kelly and songwriter Tim Minchin centers on a young girl with special powers who must contend with a host of obstacles, not least among them a frightening headmistress (Carvel). Matthew Warchus helms the production.
“Matilda” bowed at the Royal Shakespeare Company in 2010 prior to opening a year ago on the West End, where the musical is still running. RSC produces on the Rialto with Dodger Theatricals (“Jersey Boys”) and Andre Ptaszynski, exec producer for the RSC.
“Matilda” — one of a handful of tuners this season that could prove a strong draw with young girls and their families, alongside “Annie” and “Cinderella” — begins previews March 4 ahead of an April 11 opening at the Shubert Theater.