'Matilda' cast stricken with lice outbreak

'Matilda' cast stricken with lice outbreak
Writer-composer Tim Minchin performs with the cast of "Matilda" at the Actors Fund's annual gala, which honored Robert De Niro, in New York City. (Michael Loccisano / Getty Images)

Talk about lousy press: According to a report from the New York Post's Page Six, the Broadway musical "Matilda" has been stricken with a lice outbreak, with at least six of the show's young players plagued by the insidious pests.

The news prompted one source to joke, "This is the worst outbreak Broadway has seen since the original company of 'Hair' got crabs."


A representative for the show, playing at the Shubert Theatre, confirmed there had been a nit infestation among the cast but denied that it was kept a secret, as the Page Six item implied.

"All backstage personnel were immediately made aware of this situation and it was dealt with immediately," said the representative.

The British import, with music and lyrics by Tim Minchin, is based on the Roald Dahl classic about a precocious, book-loving 5-year-old with cruel dullards for parents and a sadistic teacher named Miss Trunchbull.

After a highly successful run in the West End, it opened on Broadway last year to glowing critical notices, receiving 12 Tony nominations and ultimately winning five awards -- including a specially created honor for the four young actresses who portrayed the title character.

Hair concerns are nothing new to the production. As Bailey Ryon, Milly Shapiro, Sophia Gennusa and Oona Laurence relayed to CBS' Mo Rocca last year, re-creating Matilda's distinctly tangled mane each night was a time-consuming ordeal.