‘Matilda the Musical’
When it opened in London’s West End in 2011, “Matilda the Musical” became the most celebrated stage production in the history of British theater, winning a record-breaking seven Olivier awards, including the award for best new musical. This spring, the Royal Shakespeare Company brought the show to Broadway, where it opened in April.
The musical is based on the beloved children’s book by Roald Dahl, which tells the book of the 5-year-old title character who uses her love of reading and active imagination to change the world around her. Eighteen original songs were created for the show. Four child actors take turns playing the lead role; they are accompanied by a colorful cast of adult players.
Like its West End predecessor, the Broadway version of “Matilda” has been widely heralded by critics. The show received 12 Tony nominations, including best musical, best actor, best director and best choreography.
A crop of new shows is in the pipeline to open on Broadway this fall and next spring. Many take their inspiration from popular movies and musicals from the late 20th century.
Kicking off the season is the Broadway debut of “First Date,” a new musical comedy written by veterans of television and film production. The show depicts the pitfalls of a young couple’s first blind date, which unfolds in front of the audience in real time. The production was developed in Seattle and is scheduled to open August 4.
“Big Fish” is scheduled to open in New York in early October after a successful tryout in Chicago. The musical is based on the 1998 novel and 2003 film of the same name. The creative team behind the show includes Tony-winning veterans of shows such as “The Producers” and the “The Addams Family.”
Spring of 2014 will bring a lineup of new shows sure to be blockbusters. Leading the pack is “Aladdin,” a new musical by Disney Theatrical that is based on the smash 1992 animated movie. The new show will replace Disney’s “Mary Poppins,” which ended its Broadway run this spring.
Sylvester Stallone and a team of theater producers recently announced intentions to bring “Rocky” to Broadway in March. The production, which had a successful run in Hamburg, Germany, this spring, is based on the Oscar-winning 1976 film and features new music created exclusively for the stage show.
Fans of 1990s theater will want to visit New York to see the return of “Les Misérables” to Broadway next spring. The company behind the popular musical is marking the 25th anniversary of its debut with a revamped production that will feature new orchestration and updated costuming, staging and set design.
Also coming in the spring is “If/Then,” an original romantic musical that follows a middle-aged woman’s adventures as she moves to Manhattan to begin a new life. The show is set to open in late March.