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Will Matilda make it in NY? 
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Fresh Face
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Post Will Matilda make it in NY?
I went to go see Matilda on London's West End yesterday. It was by far the worst show I have ever seen in my life, and I have seen many, many shows. I know they are bringing it to broadway, and I just cannot understand why. I do not see it making it more than a few months on broadway. I am just one person, but I went with a group of 8 people with various tastes, and not one of them liked it. I am wondering if anyone else from the U.S. has seen this show, and what you thought of it? Anyone from the UK or elsewhere is welcome to chime in.

Let me go over my biggest problems with the show:
(1) No Grounding Characters: Parents are clowns, Children are directed to be too cutsie-wootsie, Trunchbull is an absolute joke. Ms. Honey is semi-grounding but she isn't nearly grounding enough, her songs are dumb, she does the whole "yippee yippee, o sorry i got carried away" thing which made her seem totally stupid. The only grounding character is the librarian who isn't in the show nearly enough and interacts with no one besides Matilda. I do not even want to begin talking about the Latin dance partner of Matilda's mother, the Russian Mafia members, or the brother.

(2) Expectations from the Movie: The movie was so awesome because Matilda does all of the magic stuff, messing around with the lights at home, making the carrot fly off her plate. That was all TOTALLY MISSING in the musical. The only magic involved is the newt scene.

(3) Songs were unmemorable.

(4) Very dark aspect of it. I would not say this is suitable for children under 7, but children under 7 are the only people who may in their right mind find this show entertaining.

(5) Simply did not find it funny.

So what did you guys think? Why did you like it? Why didn't you like it? Do you think it has a chance in NY? Did you take your kids? Also include where you are from in your response because I'm interested in seeing if maybe that affects the answers.

Thank you!


Tue Jan 08, 2013 12:02 pm
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Post Re: Will Matilda make it in NY?
Where else are you going to copy and paste this? Don't forget Finishing The Hat!

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Tue Jan 08, 2013 1:34 pm
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Fresh Face
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Post Re: Will Matilda make it in NY?
I did not particularly care for the Broadway production. I did not think it was horrible but you are right about the characters; no one is even remotely realistic. The comedy was very slapstick and silly, the type of comedy little kids laugh at. I think it will run for a couple of years on Broadway, but I don't see it running longer than say BILLY ELLIOT. And I will be shocked if it wins any major Tonys.


Thu Mar 28, 2013 3:59 pm
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Post Re: Will Matilda make it in NY?
1) Have you read Roald Dahl's work? I felt the writing of the show was very in-keeping with the sense of his writing and so, for me, worked as an adaptation of the book.

2) I understand why you had expectations from the movie but this is not based on the movie. This is based on the children's book (from which the movie was adapted). The newt scene and the chalk scene both had magic effects. Additionally, I thought the cake was rather wonderfully done.

3) I guess this is just a matter of personal opinion. I adore the music in this show and think the lyrics are absolutely wonderful.

4) Again, the sense of darkness, I feel, is more inherent in a close adaptation of Dahl's original works. A lot of his writing is surprisingly dark (all the nasty children being harmed in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, little boys being eaten in The Twits etc).

5) I think maybe that's just to do with the international sense of humour difference? Not sure how to explain it as I thoroughly enjoyed it, especially Minchin's lyrics.

I hope it does well on Broadway. I think it's a wonderful adaptation of Roald Dahl's writing and really creates the feel of his writing on his stage, in my opinion. Bertie Carvel's performance as Trunchbull is solid physically and vocally though I felt like they could have afforded his character more menace/stage-time to create a greater sense of threat. All in all, it's one of current West End favourites.

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Fri Mar 29, 2013 5:18 pm
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Post Re: Will Matilda make it in NY?
Saw Matilda the other night and I have to say it's one of the funniest, most poignant and sophisticated musicals I've ever seen on Broadway. I can't remember the last time I've had that much fun in the theatre. If you thought that the parents were clowns and the kids were cutsie-wootsie you can't have been paying close attention to the story. It's not meant to be a realistic story. Yes, the style is absurd and over-the-top but it's far from a broad caricature. The characters are very well written, each personality is vivid and specific. Bertie Carvel gave a nuanced performance indeed, with layers of sadism that I never could have imagined from the movie. And the children were so honest and believable, it's not often when you see kids onstage that truly seemed like real kids.

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Last edited by Mama Rose on Tue May 28, 2013 9:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Thu Apr 11, 2013 10:16 pm
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Fresh Face
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Post Re: Will Matilda make it in NY?
Matilda seems to be one of those very divisive shows. A lot of people love it, a lot of people are mystified as to why people love it. I saw both pro's and con's personally, but my overall feeling was probably a bit more on the negative side because the loud, in your face, cartoon-y aspects put me off.

Based on what I've heard, my *guess* is that it won't run on Broadway for longer than a year or so. It came in with strong buzz from London, but I think the over-the-top rave reviews have ultimately done the show a disservice. Too many people are paying top dollar expecting the second coming and then being disappointed. So even if sales are strong at the moment, the word-of-mouth will be tepid (in the vein of "The Times said it was so great, but I just didn't see what the fuss was about!"), which is bad for Matilda in the long run.

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Tue May 28, 2013 10:54 am
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Post Re: Will Matilda make it in NY?
I love the original book and didn't like the movie at all.

Based solely on the cast recordingm this seems like a wonderful adaptation.

If it weren't for the extremely sloppy rhymes. They really drive me nuts, and I'm not sure if I want to endure listening to it again. Those rhymes are really horrible.

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Tue May 28, 2013 12:55 pm
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Post Re: Will Matilda make it in NY?
The silly rhymes you speak of are meant to be tongue-in-cheek. It's a campy show.

"Ian McEwan, I feel like spewin'!"


Priceless.

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Tue May 28, 2013 9:19 pm
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Post Re: Will Matilda make it in NY?
Mama Rose wrote:
The silly rhymes you speak of are meant to be tongue-in-cheek. It's a campy show.

"Ian McEwan, I feel like spewin'!"


I'm not at all talking about silly/tongue in cheek rhymes. I'm talking about those that don't rhyme.

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Tue May 28, 2013 10:59 pm
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Post Re: Will Matilda make it in NY?
Which ones? I didn't notice any stand out on the recording.

Does anybody know which lyrics have been changed "for the American ear" on Broadway?


Wed May 29, 2013 12:48 am
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Post Re: Will Matilda make it in NY?
Mungojerrie_rt wrote:
Which ones? I didn't notice any stand out on the recording.


You can read my reactions in full here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/product-reviews ... ewpoints=0

Quote:
This adaptation, I think, is a very good one of the awesome book which is the source material.

But listen to the rhymes. They destroy an otherwise great experience. It seems like Tim Minchin just occationally and by accident stumbles over rhymes that actually rhyme. And even then, they are of the lame calibre of guy/sky, free/see/me and the likes of that. It is very strange that the lyricist in the cd booklet claims to love language so much when he mistreats it like this.

In the opening number only he manages such atrocities as soldier/older, calculus/miraculous, cynical/empirical/umbilical, cotton/bottom, etc. And so it goes on - for the entire show.

I mean, we forgive Tim Rice for rhymes as biscuit/district, Stephen Sondheim for lecture/correct'yer and Fred Ebb for cellophane/name because their rhymes are otherwise excellent. And Lionel Barts lyrics for Oliver! at least have the redeeming quality of being adventurous, no matter how desperately they almost rhyme at times.

These Matilda lyrics rank among the worst in musical theatre along with the lyrics of The Nightmare Before Christmas and The Beautiful Game. It is a shame, because the other aspects of Matilda are actually good.

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Wed May 29, 2013 2:35 am
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Post Re: Will Matilda make it in NY?
You're forgetting accent and character voice.
Calculus and Miraculous both produce the same sound when spoken as children (and indeed, most adults are not concerned with such enunciation): "u-luss"

I don't see how things like free/see/me are a problem. You call them simple, but that's rubbish. There is no reason to be pointlessly complicated, especially when all of the characters are children and/or lower class and poorly spoken.

Sin-ee-cal
Em-peer-ee-cal
Um-bill-ee-cal
meer-ee-cal

There are some great rhymes in the show:
Story/gory
Fair it/bear it/wear it
Tick of a clock/click of a lock

There are moment like: stop you/lot you, but they feel very natural when sung by a small girl.


Wed May 29, 2013 3:28 am
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