Matilda The Musical Announces Its Opening-Night Star
By Adam Hetrick
Young actress Sophia Gennusa, who shares the leading role in Matilda The Musical with three other girls, has been announced to perform during the April 11 opening night at the Shubert Theatre.
Tony Award-winning director Matthew Warchus (God of Carnage, The Norman Conquests, Boeing-Boeing, La Bête, Ghost) staged the inventive, kid-packed musical that has a book by Dennis Kelly and a score by Tim Minchin. Previews began March 4.
The cast features original West End star Bertie Carvel, who earned an Olivier Award for his portrayal of the malicious, pigtail-hating Miss Trunchbull. In addition to Gennusa, the Broadway cast includes Oona Laurence, Bailey Ryon and Milly Shapiro, who also share the title role.
Gennusa was selected at random to play Matilda in the April 11 performance during a special drawing at Sardi's. Each young actress rotates in the role. Producers do not announce a set performance schedule ahead of time.
The Broadway principal company also features Olivier Award winner Lesli Margherita (Zorro; Kiss, Me Kate) as Miss Wormwood, Gabriel Ebert (4000 Miles) as Mr. Wormwood, original London cast member Lauren Ward (Follies, Violet) as Miss Honey and veteran Chicago actress Karen Aldridge ("Boss," "Chicago Fire") as Mrs. Phelps. Young British actor Ted Wilson from the original London cast of Matilda repeats his work as schoolmate Eric in the Broadway production.
The Matilda ensemble includes Frenie Acoba, Erica Barnett, Judah Bellamy, Jack Broderick, Ava DeMary, John Arthur Greene, Emma Howard, Nadine Isenegger, Colin Israel, Thayne Jasperson, Luke Mannikus, Madilyn Morrow, Sawyer Nunes, Jared Parker, Celia Mei Rubin, John Sanders, Tamika Sonja Lawrence, Phillip Spaeth, Ryan Steele, Betsy Struxness, Samantha Sturm, Heather Tepe, Ben Thompson, Clay Thomson, Taylor Trensch and Beatrice Tulchin.
According to producers, Matilda "is the story of an extraordinary little girl who decides that despite a bad beginning filled with rotten parents, a terrifying school and a vicious head mistress, her story is going to be an astonishing one. With the help of her teacher, her friends and a little bit of imagination, Matilda proves that even if you're little, you can do big things."
Matilda premiered at the Royal Shakespeare Company's Courtyard Theatre in November 2010 and later transferred to the West End's Cambridge Theatre, where it continues to run. The Royal Shakespeare Company and The Dodgers present the Broadway run.
For tickets go to Telecharge.com. The Shubert Theatre is located at 235 West 44th Street.
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