In the great tradition of one word musical titles that start with the letter “M,” residing at the Shubert Theatre, the new musical, MATILDA, started preview performances last night and of course, as former residents, we had to check it out: see our old friends and see what they’ve done with the place.
It’s a great show and former Memphian, Betsy Struxness, is in the cast (ensemble/u/s Mrs. Wormwood) and it was delightful to see her rocking the Shubert stage again along side some of the most talented kids I’ve ever seen on any stage! Literally, mouth agape at the performances they are giving.
FUN FACT: Betsy’s dressing room is VERY MEMPHIS.
“How MEMPHIS is it?” the blogosphere chanted back.
She was assigned the same dressing room that housed all our “Huey”s: Chad Kimball, Adam Pascal, Bryan Fenkart, Kevin Massey, Justin Patterson, and Brad Bass. How hockadoo is that?
Derrick Baskin, Broadway’s “Gator,” was in attendance with me and it was great to see everyone at the theatre: House Staff, Ushers, Technicians, Porters, Stage Door Attendants. As fun as it was to reconnect with everyone, immediately upon arriving, I made a beeline for the new lower lobby.
“Why such a fuss?” the blogosphere asked inquisitively.
Because, the entire lower lobby has been redone, including the bathrooms! 15 stalls ladies or something like that. FIFTEEN. Finally. Well done Shubert Organization. Hopefully this will make MATILDA’s intermissions more pleasant for the female population- not to spoil anything, but let’s just say there is an “interval announcement” that you don’t have to miss because you are on line at the bathroom. I did not take a picture of the bathrooms, but I was very, VERY tempted. Though nothing can rival the bathrooms at the new Signature Theatre complex…I digress…back to the Shubert.
Here’s the view of the door leading to stage left. No doubt it will soon be covered with mementos and well wishes or any number of things that start to show up when a show settles into a run at a theatre.
After an awesome and lengthy backstage tour where we looked at what was new and what was the same, we had our final hugs and headed out. And, just like a scene out of a movie, Derrick walked out of that stage door to a cheerful and rousing chorus of “Hockadoo!!!” from a fan at the stage door- the effect of which was very WICKED; we both began to melt.
MEMPHIS indeed, lives.
Welcome to Broadway, MATILDA.