Joan Marcus

Location Info


Shubert Theatre

225 W. 44th St.
New York, NY 10036

Category: Theaters

Region: West 40s


by Dennis Kelly and Tim Minchin
Shubert Theatre
225 West 44th Street

As for Ward, her sweetness, of both voice and presence, is a known quantity to those who’ve seen her in musicals like Off-Broadway’s Violet and the Roundabout revival of 1776. She and the Matildas get most of the bearable moments here. As written (script by Dennis Kelly), their scenes are rather dull and predictable, but the relief their quietude brings from the otherwise nerve-racking context is so immense that I kept wishing they would go on longer. But since Matilda already runs over two and a half hours including intermission, which would seem excessive even for a well-done children’s show, I think on the whole I had better withdraw that wish. Instead, I’ll take Matilda’s advice and, the next time Broadway is threatened with a British children’s musical, I will stay home with a good book.

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Reading this review was like listening to a small child complain that they hated a book they read because the font was too small.


I liked this show very much, but I had to put my fingers in my ears for a lot of it.  In particular, Mrs. Wormwood was screechingly painful to my ears.

 I don't know how they allow the children to be exposed night after night.  I guess they thought they had to turn things up so the children's voices could be heard, but if everything else goes up too, what is accomplished?  The kids were enunciating like crazy, but the distortion from excessive volume overcame all.   It's a terrible shame, it's an insult to the talented performers.

 I bought the soundtrack of the London production, and I really love it.   You can hear the lyrics, the harmonies are beautiful, and Mrs. Wormwood doesn't screech her lines.

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