This Week on Stage: 'Matilda' casts her spell on Broadway

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This week marks the arrival of the biggest Brit hit musical since a little boy named Billy Elliot pirouetted his way across the pond, but the Off Broadway offerings in this round-up are also not to be ignored. As we prep for a tidal wave of openings in the next three weeks (with 12 Broadway titles alone to come!), check out what our staff has to say about these: (click on the links below to read the full reviews):

Matilda: Four very lucky little girls share the title role in this bold reimagining of the classic Roald Dahl novel which broke records sweeping Britain’s Olivier Awards last year. Did it survive the ride across the ocean with kudos intact? Thom Geier says yes and dubs it as enticing as a bedtime story, “you want to shout, ”Again!” and demand that the cast start over from the very beginning so you might catch everything that you missed”. He adds, “ [the show] captures the wonder and innocence of childhood, but also the frustrations that face kids confronting the bitter unfairness of the adult world”. EW grade: A–

Buyer & Cellar: Barbra Streisand’s 2010 photo book My Passion For Design has enjoyed gentle ridicule since it hit stores, but what would happen if Babs hired an employee to man her customer-less, underground mall? Ugly Betty’s Michael Urie assumes said role in an affectionate solo, which imagines his daily dealings with the Funny Girl. EW’s Stephan Lee highly praises Urie’s “committed, freakishly energetic” performance and adds, “[in] Urie’s wildly gesticulating hands this show will go down like butta’, even for those with passing interest in Babs”. EW grade: A–

My Name is Asher Lev: EW catches up with Aaron Posner’s stage adaptation of Chaim Potok’s My Name is Asher Lev-a tale of a young Jewish artist in the 1950s struggling with artistic identity-and the six-month-to-date Off Broadway run has been more than warranted.My Name is Asher Lev cradles the audience with delicacy rather than smother with preachy uplift”, I wrote in my review, adding, “you don’t have to know the difference between a matzoh and a pizza to be fully sated”. EW grade: B+

Read more:
Mary Louise-Parker returning to Broadway this Fall
Read the Nominess for the 2013 Lucille Lortel Awards
Andrew Lloyd Webber planning musical of ‘School of Rock’
EW Stage Hub

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