First-Time Tony Nominee: Lauren Ward is as sweet as Honey in ‘Matilda’

Lauren Ward in "Matilda."

Lauren Ward in “Matilda.”

Lauren Ward, who is as lovely as she is talented, has been proudly portraying the role of Miss Honey in Broadway’s Matilda this season. The hit musical has scooped up a dozen Tony nominations, including one for her beautiful performance. This is Ward’s first-ever nomination and she’s stated that she was utterly shocked upon hearing the news.

Matilda is a musical that originated in the West End and is based on the novel by Roald Dahl. It’s about a peculiar little girl who strives to stand up for herself and her peers by rebelling against authority using her incredible powers. The source of light in the show is Miss Honey, Matilda’s teacher who faces similar hardships as her students when it comes to fighting for what’s right. Portraying a complex and strong character, Ward achieves perfection with the kindness that comes through in her line deliveries and her compassionate interpretation of the character.

A mother of three children, Ward is one of the most hard-working women in the theatre industry. She made her Broadway debut in Carousel as Heavenly Friend and Jenny Sanborn. She was also an understudy for the lead role of Julie Jordan.  In addition, Ward also appeared in the musical comedy 1776 as Martha Jefferson, and in the 2011 Broadway revival of Follies as Young Sally.

Along with these impressive New York credits, Ward also starred in several West End productions, including The Sound of Music, Camelot and of course Matilda. She has received rave reviews for reprising the role of Miss Honey on Broadway, with critics calling her “touchingly sweet” and “gentle” during her time in the West End, and Ben Brantley of The New York Times, who raved over the musical, called her “lovely” in the New York production.

What makes Lauren Ward so special is her humble attitude. On the day the Tony nominations were announced, she stated that she had been at a school conference for one of her children, and did not even know the announcements had happened earlier that day. Her glowing stage presence and endearing personality make her as sweet as her character’s namesake on and off stage, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for this talented lady.  She faces some stiff competition but with Matilda being a raving success and her excellent reviews on both sides of the Atlantic, it could be that she has a shot at bringing home the Tony!

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