CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY to Be 'Retooled' for Broadway; Still Targeting 2014-15
Sam Mendes' Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which opened on June 26th in London's West End, is now playing through May 31, 2014 in the UK, and according to the New York Times, the show will be 'retooled' before moving to Broadway in the 2014-15 season.
Lead producer Mark Kaufman told NYT: "Every show and everyone deserves a second chance. Plenty of shows get reviews that aren't favorable the first time out. Our word of mouth is good, and we're playing at 95 percent capacity, which is a very good sign."
He continued: "We want the musical to be a companion piece to the other 'Chocolate Factory' properties, not a souvenir, so using more songs from the first movie is not part of our plan. An American audience might be a little different from here, so we might change things to suit that audience. But Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman did their assignment really well, and I think people will notice that."
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The show has received a mixed bag of reviews by London theater critics. The Guardian's Michael Billington described it as "a lavish bonanza of a musical [that doesn't let] us forget that Dahl's book is a morality play in which vice is punished and virtue gets its edible reward". On the other side of the fence, Theatsdesk.com's Sam Marlowe griped that the show was, "as bland and sugary as cheap confectionery", while the Daily Mail's Quentin Letts described Act One "as slow as cold treacle".
Douglas Hodge takes on the lead role of Willy Wonka in the brand-new production at Theatre Royal Drury Lane in London. Directed by Academy Award winner Sam Mendes, the story includes music by Marc Shaimanand lyrics by Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman(Grammy winners for Hairspray; Smash), with a book by award-winning playwright and adaptor David Greig (The Bacchae; Tintin In Tibet). The cast also includes Nigel Planer as Grandpa Joe, Clive Carteras Mr Salt, Jasna Ivir as Mrs Gloop, Paul J Medfordas Mr Beauregarde, Iris Roberts as Mrs Teavee and Myra Sands as Grandma Georgina.