Big Game Ready: Fantasy Football and Mixology with the Men of ‘Matilda’

Left to Right: Travis Waldschmidt, Phillip Spaeth, Clay Thomson and Michaeljon Slinger

Superbowl Sunday is to football fans what the Tony Awards are to theater aficionados. But for those of us who don’t know the end zone from the 50 yard line, the Superbowl is all about the commercials, the halftime entertainment, and the dip.

Matilda on Broadway has a 12-team fantasy football league with members of the cast, the orchestra, wranglers, stage management, and the crew all competing for points. And this season, there is a new team of novice football fans in the running. Their team name is “Those People,” and ensemble members Clay Thomson, Michaeljon Slinger, Travis Waldschmidt, and Phillip Spaeth are out to prove you don’t have to know anything about football to win.

“All the straight men in the dressing room figured that ‘those people’ (the gays) wouldn’t be interested,” says Thomson. “But boy were they wrong!”

Everyone in the men’s ensemble dressing room pitched in to buy a television, so that RedZone could be streaming backstage. The team has done surprisingly well in the league, especially since they pick their weekly fantasy teams via group text using primarily emojis and GIFs. Waldschmidt says the team followed the football players’ weekly projections to select their fantasy team. “After we looked at the projections, we then looked at players match-ups to see if there was any uneven competition that might prove to be a better scoring opportunity,” he says. “That is not my area of expertise at all!” adds Slinger. “I’m just there for moral support and all the shenanigans.”

The guys even changed their performance schedule so that they could be free to watch Beyoncé —err, the game—sip margaritas, and eat Ro*Tel in style.

Spaeth is looking forward to the commercial fest. “I like the ones that are far-reaching, psychological manipulations of your emotions—only to find out it’s a commercial for mayonnaise or something,” he says.

“The key to a stylish Superbowl Sunday is to keep it classy,” explains Waldschmidt. “Make sure your outfit is on point while still incorporating your team colors.” Slinger advises. “Absolutely be stylish, but keep it casual and focus on great company and delicious food, and you’ll be set up for success.”


Michaeljon’s Beer ‘garitas
– Tequila
– 1 can of frozen concentrated limeade
– 7 UP
– 1 bottle of  Corona (or any other beer you have available)

1. Open frozen limeade can and dump into a pitcher. (Keep the can—it will become your measuring cup for the rest of the recipe.)
2. Fill the limeade can halfway with tequila and pour into pitcher.
3. Fill the limeade can all the way with 7UP.
4. Pour the whole bottle of beer into the pitcher.
5. Add ice cubes and stir. I typically double the recipe and then add more tequila to taste.

Travis’s Bourbon Slushies
-4 cups strong brewed sweet tea, homemade or store bought
-3 cups of bourbon
-24 oz. frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
-12 oz. frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed

In a very large pitcher or bowl (at least 24-cup capacity), mix together the tea, bourbon, lemonade, and orange juice concentrates. Stir in 3 quarts (12 cups) water. Place in the freezer for 8 hours. Stir, then continue to freeze for 2 hours more and up to 2 days. Take out of the freezer 30 minutes before serving. Stir and serve.

Phillip’s Dirty Ginger
Ginger ale with a splash of cran.

Clay’s Frozen Margaritas
Frozen Margaritas. Always. Fill the blender with ice. Pour in margarita mix—I like strawberry, so I use “master of mixes” strawberry daiquiri/ margarita mixer. Use as much tequila as desired. Blend until at desired consistency. Pour. Repeat.