What Craig Bierko and Jill Paice bring to the roles of Miss Trunchbull and Miss Honey in Matilda

Craig Bierko

Craig Bierko

The Broadway company of Matilda are welcoming stage veterans Craig Bierko and Jill Paice as they step into the roles of Miss Trunchbull and Miss Honey today, Sept. 3. Craig and Jill are succeeding Bertie Carvel and Lauren Ward, both of whom originated these roles on Broadway and in the West End. But don’t fret “revolting children”, it is certain that the rapturous headmistress and sweet and sympathetic school teacher will be left in good hands!

Craig Bierko was last seen on Broadway in the 2009 Guys and Dolls revival as Sky Masterson. He brought down the house every night with his swinging rendition of “Luck be a Lady.” Craig has also appeared in Thou Shalt Not as Laurent LeClaire and The Music Man as Harold Hill.

Craig has played a wide multitude of roles, from a smooth-talking gambler to a con-man/traveling salesman. He has always stood out in ensemble casts but has never really been able to show everything he is able to do in his range of acting…until now. Miss Trunchbull is clearly a difficult role to execute, and as Bertie Carvel has said, finding each of her layers is comparable to “detective work.” However, given his undeniable talent and enthusiasm (he even called Bertie “beautiful” on Twitter!) there is no doubt that this is Craig’s moment to gain the spotlight and raise some eyebrows as the ruthless Trunchbull.

1.162165

Jill Paice

Jill Paice last appeared on Broadway in the snappy comedy The 39 Steps as various roles. She also starred in Curtains and The Woman in White, in which she originated the role of Laura Fairlie in the West End and on Broadway. She was also attached to Rebecca for quite some time as well.

Jill has been able to prove herself over the years in terms of diversity, just as Craig has. She has performed in straight plays, musical comedies, and musical dramas. In Matilda, she will have to use her comedic ability right along with her dramatic flair and impeccable acting skills, which she will be able to balance beautifully. Jill can also dance up a storm and has a phenomenal soprano range with a similar tone that Lauren has. Off stage, just as Lauren Ward is, Jill is genuinely kind and a very gracious performer as well.

As plainly seen by their resumes, Craig and Jill certainly have the comedic chops for their characters. They also have beautiful voices, and definitive stage presences. They both bare likenesses to their Matilda predecessors physically as well. Miss Honey is the kind of role Jill was meant to play, and as for Craig, his casting as Miss Trunchbull was definitely an exciting surprise, and extremely inspired. He is sure to shine in this role.

It is quite easy to picture these two as a perfect onstage pair, and the reason why is as huge as the crowd of “another hundred people getting off of the train…”

Jill Paice and Craig Bierko in Company

Jill Paice and Craig Bierko in Company

Side by side…by side! Craig and Jill are certain to have outrageously fun onstage chemistry as they appeared together in the 2011 Company concert as the troubled yet oddly happy married couple Peter and Susan. They were in sync with each other for every beat, harmony, and dance move. Their bit where Susan recalls the time when Peter leaned over the balcony in attempts to see the river that overlooks their apartment (with Craig’s hilarious deadpan line reading of “She fainted so I got down”) alone proves that they are an adorable match. They are sure to do wonders on the Shubert stage!

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.