Music by Marc Shaiman
Lyrics by Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman
Book by David Greig
Directed by Jack O’Brien
Choreographed by Joshua Bergasse
Christian Borle, John Rubinstein, Emily Padgett, Kathy Fitzgerald, F. Michael Haynie, Ben Crawford, Emma Pfaeffle, Alan H. Green, Trista Dollison, Jackie Hoffman, Michael Wartella, Jake Ryan Flynn, Ryan Foust, Ryan Sell
Scenic, Costume Design: Mark Thompson
Lighting Design: Japhy Weideman
Sound Design: Andrew Keister
Puppet Design: Basil Twist
Orchestrations: Doug Besterman
First Performance March 28, 2017
Opening April 23, 2017
Submit a review for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
For more than 50 years Roald Dahl’s story of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has captured imaginations around the world, and now for the first time Broadway audiences are invited to experience Willy Wonka’s delightful and semi-dark chocolate world first-hand. Willy Wonka, world famous inventor of the Everlasting Gobstopper, has just made an astonishing announcement. His marvelous—and mysterious—factory is opening its gates…to a lucky few. That includes young Charlie Bucket, whose life definitely needs sweetening. He and four other golden ticket winners will embark on a mesmerizing, life-changing journey through Wonka’s world of pure imagination. Get ready for chocolate waterfalls, exquisitely nutty squirrels and the great glass elevator, all to be revealed by Wonka’s army of curious Oompa-Loompas.
ROALD DAHL’s most treasured tale is coming to the land where sweet dreams come true–Broadway–starring two-time Tony Award® winner CHRISTIAN BORLE (Something Rotten!, Peter and the Starcatcher) as the magical maestro Willy Wonka himself. And who better to conjure up this confectionary wonder than three-time Tony Award-winning director JACK O’BRIEN (Hairspray , The Front Page).
It’s the perfect recipe for a delectable treat: the beloved songs from the original film, including “Pure Imagination” and “The Candy Man,” alongside a brand new score from the Grammy® and Tony-winning songwriters of Hairspray, MARC SHAIMAN and SCOTT WITTMAN, a book from internationally acclaimed playwright DAVID GREIG and choreography from Emmy® Award winner JOSHUA BERGASSE. Audiences around the world have long adored the best-selling book and films, but none have experienced the magic of Wonka quite like this–until now.
Ben Brantley – New York Times
After more than an hour of chipper throat clearing, that’s the streak that finally emerges, like a stinging ripple of rum in vanilla fudge, in this retooled adaptation out of London, directed by Jack O’Brien. It is also the moment when the show’s star, Christian Borle, at last comes into his own as the violently eccentric Willy Wonka, who owns and runs the enchanted factory of the musical’s title.
Marilyn Stasio – Variety
It’s hard to predict how grownups might feel about this inflated musical adapted from previous stage and film treatments of Roald Dahl’s beloved novel, “Charlie & the Chocolate Factory.” (There’s scant evidence that anyone went back to the original 1964 book for inspiration.) Savvy kids, however, might stage a revolt after seeing how the uncanny darkness of Dahl’s imagination has been lightened and brightened in helmer Jack O’Brien’s mechanized production.
Jeremy Gerard – Deadline
The resulting goods were unveiled tonight at the Lunt-Fontanne (where Finding Neverland ran, as it happens) and while Charlie and the Chocolate Factory may not enjoy more critical approval in its second iteration, it’s going to make a ton of money, both on Broadway and the road. It’s goofy, loud and imaginative — superlatively so, in some key respects. And it delivers two things children delight in: stories about scrappy urchins triumphing over doltish adults (cf Annie, Matilda), and comical obliteration of ill-behaved nasties (cf Shockheaded Peter).
Joe Dziemianowicz – NY Daily News
“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” is a middle-of-the-road musical with a pale score, a flavorless book and a dearth of eye candy that could have at least made it a spectacle.
Chris Nashawaty – Entertainment Weekly
And so, in this very busy Broadway season, arrives the splashy new musical adaptation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with music by Marc Shaiman and lyrics by Shaiman and Scott Wittman (who won a Tony together for Hairspray). The roles are mostly well played, David Grieg’s book is fine, the songs are serviceable, and the sets are fairly clever, but none of it is…transporting. To stretch the sweet-tooth metaphor as far as a piece of saltwater taffy, the new Charlie is the Broadway version of a Whitman’s sampler: A few mouth-watering delights; far too many disappointing nougats. Kids will probably enjoy it a lot more than their more discerning parents.
Tim Teeman – The Daily Beast
But why does this latest production, a production first seen in London, feel too small, too meager, and not magic enough? Charlie and the Chocolate Factory needs to go big, surely, or not at all. The modesty of this production, attractive in smaller theaters, perhaps, feels a little lost on the stage of the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, even with Doug Besterman and Marc Shaiman’s lush orchestrations and arrangements.
David Rooney – The Hollywood Reporter
In opening dialogue delivered by Christian Borle with the anxious energy of someone trying to put a cheerful spin on a derailment, Willy Wonka celebrates the marvels of milk chocolate while declaring that when a chocolatier’s product turns dark and bitter, it’s time to retire. For those adults among us who prefer our cocoa confections bittersweet and extra-dark, that intro serves as a warning that Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the perversely charmless new musical based on the classic Roald Dahl story, will have little to offer grown-up audiences. Kids might find more to enjoy in this frantic Frankenstein’s monster of a show, but that doesn’t make it less of a misfire.
Matthew Murray – Talkin’ Broadway
Chocolate has traditionally fallen into the category of things that are pretty good even when they’re bad. (Pizza is also a famous one; there are others, but this is a family review.) Its status may have to be reconsidered, however, in light of the new musicalization of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the Lunt-Fontanne. It’s just bad: plain, simple, and totally. Although, to be fair, it does keep one-upping itself—this is not a musical that’s willing to settle for second-worst.
Robert Hofler – The Wrap
In my nearly half century of Broadway theatergoing, I’ve never witnessed such a second-act reversal of fortune as what’s going on now at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, where “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” opened Sunday.
Robert Kahn – NBC New York
The best thing about Broadway’s new “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” is the inventively savage and barbarous ways that all the Golden Ticket winners—except, that is, for Charlie Bucket—die.
Mark Shenton – The Stage
This stage musical version of Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory should have provided producers with a golden ticket when it premiered at London’s Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in 2013. But though it chalked up a respectable enough run of over three and a half years there, the eye-poppingly lavish sets and effects could not disguise the fact the musical numbers rarely achieved the same level of lift-off as the show’s spectacular great glass elevator.
Matt Windman – AM New York
Pity the poor Oompa Loompas that get assigned by Willy Wonka with the impossible task of cleaning up the disastrous and distasteful Broadway musical adaptation of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” No amount of “Pure Imagination” can save this train wreck.
Linda Winer – Newsday
For a musical about the wonder of pure imagination, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” is bizarrely lacking in it.