'Matilda the Musical' to Close on Broadway

Joan Marcus
Kids in Broadway shows often pour on so much artificial sweetener they should come with a warning to diabetics. But not the rebellious downtrodden urchins in this brilliant musical. Director Matthew Warchus, writer Dennis Kelly and the master of tongue-twisting wit, composer-lyricist Tim Minchin, perfectly capture the malevolent mischief of Roald Dahl’s brainiac fairytale.

REVIEW: Matilda

The hit Roald Dahl adaptation won four Tony Awards and has grossed $165 million to date in a four-year run set to end on Jan. 1, 2017.

Matilda the Musical, based on the novel from best-selling children's author Roald Dahl, will close on Broadway next year.

After four years on the New York stage, the production's curtain will make its final drop on Jan. 1, 2017.

The Royal Shakespeare Company and Dodgers' co-production opened on April 11, 2013, at the Shubert Theatre, earning some of the best reviews of the season and landing four Tony Awards that year as well as a Tony Honor for Excellence in the Theater for each of the four young actresses that originally alternated in the title role. The show will have played 37 previews and 1,555 regular performances by the time it closes. 

"Everything that is so special about this show has been celebrated by one-and-a-half million audience members at over 1,200 performances, making its Tony Award-winning run at the Shubert not only a profitable hit but also a critical success," the producers said Thursday in a joint statement.

A popular draw for family audiences that continues to be a solid performer during peak holiday periods, the production announced recoupment of its $16 million investment in December 2014, soon after box office crossed the $100 million mark. The musical began a national tour the following May, kicking off at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles.

Directed by Matthew Warchus, the show tells the story of a bookish girl armed with a vivid imagination and a sharp mind who dares to take a stand against the ignorant and oppressive adults in her life to change her own destiny. It features a score by Tim Minchin and a Tony-winning book by playwright Dennis Kelly.

In his review of the productionThe Hollywood Reporter's film & theater critic David Rooney wrote, "The capacity for constant surprise, and an almost overwhelming sense of wonder at the magic of storytelling — and by extension, stagecraft — are central to the experience of this dazzlingly inventive musical. Capturing the unique flavor of Roald Dahl’s classic 1988 children’s novel, this funhouse fairy tale is by turns riotous and poignant, grotesque and menacing, its campy comic exaggeration equaled only by its transporting emotional power."

Broadway will not remain without a Dahl musical for long after Matilda closes. A retooled version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which originally opened in London in summer 2013, has been confirmed to hit Broadway next spring, with exact dates to be set. Directed by Jack O'Brien, that show has a book by Scottish dramatist David Greig and an original score by the Hairspray team of Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman.