Tim Minchin and Dennis Kelly’s multi-Oliver-winning smash Matilda the Musical has opened on Broadway amid a torrent of praise from Stateside critics.
The show, based on Roald Dahl’s much-loved book about a sweet little girl living in a world of horrid grown-ups who discovers she has supernatural powers that can put them in their place, opened at the Great White Way’s Shubert Theatre on 12 April.
The New York Times was unequivocal in praising Matilda as "the most satisfying and subversive musical ever to come out of Britain". Time Magazine was similarly impressed, asserting that, "It would be easy to call it the best British musical since Billy Elliot, but that, I'm afraid, would be underselling it".
We’re happy to join in the applause for director Matthew Warchus’ RSC-originated show, which has made its transfer to the US with no changes from the original UK production. But its Big Apple bouquet is no surprise to those of us who have already revelled in Matilda’s gleeful spikiness on home turf.
While it's been mostly recast for New York, it retains a not-so-secret weapon in the returning Bertie Carvel (pictured, with Broadway Matildas), reprising his Best Actor Olivier Award-winning role as horrendous, terrifying headmistress Miss Trunchbull. The New York Times' notoriously hard-to-please critic Ben Brantley called his performance "deliciously malevolent".