Stage mothers and fathers: Get your child actors practising their British accents now. Matilda: The Musical is setting up shop in Toronto starting July, 2016.
Composer Tim Minchin and playwright Dennis Kelly's musical adaptation of the beloved Roald Dahl book about a girl with psychokinetic powers will have its Canadian premiere with a Canadian cast at the Princess of Wales, Mirvish Productions is set to announce Wednesday.
Matilda, which was the runner-up for the 2013 Tony Award for best musical (and should have won), employs 16 children in its Broadway incarnation – including four girls in the title role.
The musical is one of 14 shows David Mirvish will present or produce over the 2015-16 season as part of his commercial theatre company's Mainstage Subscription Series, Off-Mirvish Subscription Series or off-subscription presentations. Here's the rundown.
Mainstage: In addition to producing Matilda, Mirvish will present four productions of Broadway tuners on tour: A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder (winner of the 2014 Tony for best musical); If/Then (created by the Pulitzer Prize-winning creators of Next to Normal, Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey); Cinderella (in a recently revised revival of the show Rodgers and Hammerstein originally wrote for live television in 1957); and Motown: The Musical (a jukebox musical with a self-explanatory title).
In addition, Mirvish will tap into his British theatre connections to bring Rupert Everett to town. The English actor best known for My Best Friend's Wedding and The Next Best Thing will reprise the role of Oscar Wilde in David Hare's play The Judas Kiss at the Royal Alexandra in the spring of 2016. Also making its way from Britain is the classic Patrick Hamilton thriller Gaslight in a new production by revisionist director Lucy Bailey.
Off-Mirvish subscription: Two recent dramas that made waves on Broadway will get Canadian productions as part of this second-stage series.
Seminar, Theresa Rebeck's 2011 play about four young writers in a workshop led by a somewhat sadistic professor named Leonard, will be staged with director Stewart Arnott behind the wheel in November, 2015. Stratford Festival's Tom McCamus is set to star in the role originally played by Alan Rickman in the latest of a long line of Mirvish co-productions with Winnipeg's Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre.
Disgraced, a Pultizer Prize-winning play by Ayad Akhtar about a dinner party gone Islamophobically awry, will come in the form of a co-production with Toronto's Hope & Hell Theatre company in March, 2016. Actor and bluesman Raoul Bhaneja, currently touring his show Life, Death and the Blues across the country, will star and Robert Ross Parker will direct.
Rounding out the Off-Mirvish fare is Edinburgh Fringe hit Big Mouth – in which Belgian actor Valentijn Dhaenens weaves together oration from Socrates to Osama Bin Laden.
Off-subscription: Here's some great news – Les 7 doigts de la main, Quebec's second-most famous circus troupe, will finally make its way to Toronto with their off-Broadway hit, Traces, in December, 2015. Other special presentations include Oh Canada, What a Feeling!, a "multimedia theatrical production" that pays tribute to Canadian music from Adams (Bryan) to Young (Neil); The Australia Bee Gees Show, a tribute to the Stayin' Alive trio; and the return of The Phantom of the Opera.