William is a sweet and melancholy undertaker, conscientiously carrying on the family business of ushering clients out of the world with dignity. Mary is a wise, pragmatic midwife, passionate in her mission of helping mothers bring their babies kicking and screaming into the world.
Long before “Matilda: The Musical” became a Tony Award-winning hit on Broadway, the story was a much-beloved children’s book by the great British eccentric Roald Dahl and a prickly, endearing 1996 movie adaptation by actor-director Danny DeVito.
In the nearly 20 years since its release, that quirky, zippy little film – much like the story’s page and stage incarnations – has achieved a sort of cult status among young fans, as well as among grown-up admirers of Dahl’s warm, weird and wonderfully cracked body of literature.
Before taking over on his own popular Masterpiece Mystery TV series, “Inspector Lewis,” the everyman British actor Kevin Whately spent some13 years as Detective Sergeant Robbie Lewis, the reliable, long-suffering sidekick to John Thaw’s prickly, cerebral detective in the “Inspector Morse” series.
A version of this review appears in Friday’s Weekend Life section of The Oklahoman.
“The Spectacular Now”
The skinny: Rarely have the fresh joys and new pains of adolescence been depicted with the emotional veracity of director James Ponsoldt’s (“Smashed”) spectacular adaptation of Oklahoma writer Tim Tharp’s coming-of-age novel.