#FlashbackFriday: Matilda Olivier Winner Lesli Margherita Shares Her 10 Favorite Tony Moments
The smash hit musical Matilda has precocious kids, Chris Sieber in drag and a rockin’ score, but let’s be honest: aren’t we all just going to see Olivier Award winner Lesli Margherita steal the show as the loud, tacky and hilarious Mrs. Wormwood? If you love Margherita (from her time in Matilda or her wonderful Broadway.com video blog) then you can’t miss a whole night of just her, big hair and big songs in All Hail the Queen at 54 Below on June 13 and 14. Below, this Broadway royal (and our fifth guest blogger) concludes BroadwayBox’s Ultimate Top 10 Tony Performances Series with her picks (and you’ll never guess what number 1 is!).
10. The Bret Michaels Incident, Rock of Ages, 2009
Ok, look. I’m not laughing at someone getting hurt onstage. Ok, I am a little. But maybe we drop the “rockstar” thing for a minute and hit our marks. Then Stockard Channing just goes “whatevs” and starts belting. Amazing. That’s all. Glad he is ok, but I thank Bret Michaels for the laugh. I’ve just given myself crap karma, haven’t I?
9. “Be Italian,” Nine, 1982
This is the first Tony performance I actually remember seeing on TV. I was really little, and had just started dance. I remember it to this day because there were kids on it with tambourines. They were hitting their umm, privates with the tambourines. SO, of course, I went around recreating that for the next few weeks. My mom was not amused. I somehow see this role in my future, lol. Maybe I’ll get to tambourine myself after all.
8. “We’ll Take a Glass Together,” Grand Hotel, 1990
I just remember Michael Jeter. He was like the most amazing, agile, full of life Muppet. Watch his physicality. Unreal. He broke the mold. I wish he was still with us.
7. “What's Up, Duloc?,” Shrek, 2009
I have the extreme pleasure of working with the insane Christopher Sieber everyday. Before I knew him, I remember seeing this performance, and peeing my pants. I hadn’t seen the show yet, this made me want to. The tiny legs. The Elphaba riff. I can’t.
6. “Once and For All ”/ “Seize the Day,” Newsies, 2012
THESE BOYS. INSANE. Chris Gattelli won for choreography that year. Uh, DUH. This performance made me squeal like a teenage girl. So talented, so much energy. Makes me feel...old.
5. “I Hope I Get It,” A Chorus Line, 1976
I obviously didn’t see this live, (if you think I am old enough to have, I shall punch you) but when I first found this wobbly footage on YouTube, I died. How amazing to see the original cast open the show, and it is 8 minutes! No show would get that now. So groundbreaking, and I can only imagine how exciting that must have been for that cast.
4. Jerome Robbins’ Broadway, 1989
This was the first Broadway show I ever saw. I was at a theater camp with a bunch of obnoxious (myself included) preteens. This show changed my life. I’m not sure if it’s her doing both on the Tonys, but Charlotte d’Amboise was both Peter Pan AND Anita in the show. I think if I ever get to work with her someday, I won’t be able to speak to her. It’s too much.
3. “Taxi”/ “Bring in ‘da Noise, Bring in ‘da Funk,” Bring in ‘da Noise, Bring in ‘da Funk, 1996
You guys. I meeeeeeeeaaaaaaan. SAVION EFFING GLOVER. (should be his name) I saw this show the same way I saw this Tony Awards performance- mouth agape. Ahead of its time.
2. “Where You Are,” Kiss of the Spider Woman, 1993
I know this was on Frank DiLella’s list. Don’t care. CHITA. She deserves to be on 2 lists. One of my idols. I want to do this show SO badly (anyone out there listening?? ANYONE?). She is everything. I still watch this performance to this day because she is so badass. SO effortless. That SUIT!!!! Ugh, everything. I die.
1.“Naughty”/“Revoluting Children”/“When I Grow Up,” Matilda, 2013
The last 10 seconds of this performance may be the most important in all of Broadway history. A blonde woman comes out on a scooter, stops, and sings like, 2 lines. She is so amazing, she is like “mic drop- I’m out! That’s all you get!”. Stunning, phenomenal. Kids will be recreating that for generations to come.
See the hilarious Olivier Award winner Lesli Margherita in 'Matilda' or get even more Lesli in her solo show 'All Hail the Queen' at 54 Below June 13 and June 14.