Matilda and Kinky Boots at Tony Awards and casting news for West End’s Matilda

By | June 11, 2013

Bertie Carvel as Miss Trunchbull in Matilda The MusicalFollowing the Whatsonstage.com, Laurence Olivier and Drama Desk Awards, the theatre award season continued Sunday night with what is probably the biggest of them all: The Tony Awards. In its 67th year, the prestigious annual New York Awards saw the biggest and best of Broadway going up against one another in a star-studded event which celebrated the best of American theatre. Hosted once again by stage and screen star Neil Patrick Harris for 2013, this year’s Tony Awards brought a mixture of the expected and the unexpected as the winners were revealed. The Broadway revival of Stephen Schwartz’ Pippin was one of the night’s success stories as it won four awards, including Best Revival of a Musical and Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role for Patina Miller, but the previously predicted big winner of the night was overshadowed by another show.

At this year’s Drama Desk Awards, it was the UK’s own Matilda The Musical which triumphed when it took home five awards, only missing out in two of the seven categories it was nominated for. Many thought that the musical adaption of Roald Dahl’s popular story would repeat its success at the Tony Awards, but although Matilda didn’t exactly leave empty-handed and disappointed, it was musical Kinky Boots which achieved top status as the biggest winner of the night.

Harvey Fierstein and Cyndi Lauper’s Kinky Boots cleaned up at the Awards with six gongs, including Best Musical for which it managed to beat out Matilda. The musical also emerged triumphant over Matilda in several other shared categories, winning Best Orchestrations, Best Choreography and Best Original Score. In the category of Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role, it was always going to be a tough one to call who would be named the winner when Matilda’s Bertie Carvel and Kinky Boots’ Billy Porter both turned in such outstanding performances in their drag roles, but although Carvel won Best Actor for his entertaining portrayal of the terrifying Miss Trunchbull at the Drama Desk Awards, he lost out on the chance to earn a Tony Award as well to Porter for his role as Lola. Kinky Boots also left with Best Sound Design of a Musical to secure their sixth win. Matilda, as said, didn’t go home without anything to show for their efforts and it was still the second biggest winner of the night behind Kinky Boots. The show’s composer Tim Minchin may have lost out to Lauper in his respective category, but creative team mate Dennis Kelly rescued the night with his win for Best Book of a Musical, as did Rob Howell (Best Scenic Design of a Musical), Hugh Vanstone (Best Lighting Design of a Musical) and Gabriel Ebert (Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical) for his role as Matilda’s father, Mr Wormwood.

It was still a good night for the UK at the Awards ceremony in New York’s Radio City Music Hall: Representing the UK, Matilda did London theatre proud with its new status as a multiple Tony Award-winning show, and although Kinky Boots is very much an American production, let us not forget that it was adapted from the original 2005 English film. Overall, it was a decent night for us Brits at the 67th Tony Awards.

Alex Gaumond joins the West End cast of Matilda The Musical from 3rd September 2013While Matilda was making news over on Broadway, the West End production followed suit by hitting the headlines here with yesterday’s announcement about its next cast change. West End leading man Alex Gaumond is set to join the company from 3rd September 2013, taking over from current cast member David Leonard as headmistress Miss Trunchbull.

Gaumond is perhaps best known for his roles in West End musicals Legally Blonde (Emmett Forrest, Savoy Theatre)) and We Will Rock You (Galileo, Dominion Theatre), but has also appeared in a wide variety of musical theatre productions that include Jesus Christ Superstar (Ljubljana Festival, Slovenia), Top Hat (Aldwych Theatre), Desperately Seeking Susan (Novello Theatre) and Scrooge (London Palladium). A fantastic actor in possession of a highly impressive vocal ability, Gaumond is sure to be a popular choice to take on the role on Miss Trunchbull; those who saw him perform with his then-Legally Blonde cast mates as Doctor Belond for the 2011 West End Eurovision – winning that year’s event – will known that he can certainly do comedy performance very well indeed.

Also joining Gaumond in Matilda in September to play Mrs Wormwood is Kay Murphy, who has previously performed in Top Hat (Aldwych Theatre), Chicago (Adelphi Theatre), Never Forget (UK Tour) and The Tailormade Man (Arts Theatre). Haley Flaherty continues in the role of Miss Honey until 7th September 2014, with further casting still to be announced.

By Julie Robinson (@missjulie25)

Tuesday 11th June 2013

 

Author: missjulie

Julie is a theatre enthusiast, and is particularly keen on new writing. She writes articles each week for our website including a popular weekly ‘In Profile’ which features actors and actresses that are not in lead roles and are often in the Ensemble.

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