Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Details
Roald Dahl’s 1964 children’s novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has no shortage of big-name adaptations. Gene Wilder’s turn as Willy Wonka in the 1971 film musical film remains one of the legendary actor’s greatest performance, and the Tim Burton-directed 2005 movie provides a wild stylization perfectly befitting the world that Dahl created. Now, on Broadway, a staged production melds the melodies of the first film and the bright colors of the second, as Scottish playwright David Greig’s book came to New York City in early 2017 after a four-year run in London’s West End. Directed by Jack O’Brien (Hairspray, Henry IV), the American version landed on Broadway at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre in April. The show features a songbook of mostly new tunes, although classic songs “The Candy Man” and “Pure Imagination” have been carried over from the Wilder film.
Like the book and the film, the play follows the story of Charlie Bucket, a poor boy who lives with his parents and grandparents, as he wins a tour of the legendary confectioner Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. Bucket is played by an alternating cast of young actors, while Wonka is portrayed by the energetic Christian Borle (Something Rotten, Peter and the Starcatcher). Also starring in the play are John Rubinstein (Children of a Lesser God) as Charlie’s Grandpa Joe, Emily Padgett (Grease, Rock of Ages) as his mother and F. Michael Haynie (Wicked, Dogfight) as Augustus Gloop. The show takes on the same brilliantly twisted undertones as its source material, giving Charlie’s spoiled tourmates their just desserts and Charlie an experience that he’ll never forget.