CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY Creatives to Appear on THEATER TALK This Week
In an interview with series co-hosts Michael Riedel of the New York Post and executive producer Susan Haskins, they discuss the long process of bringing the show to Broadway and Shaiman, a masterful performer in his own right, also plays and sings several of the musical's numbers, including: "It Must Be Believed To Be Seen," "More of Him to Love," and "The View From Here."
After spending eight years on the show (four in preparation, followed by a four-year London run at the Drury Lane, directed by Sam Mendes), Shaiman & Wittman reworked the show for Broadway with original librettist David Greig and with substantial input from director O'Brien.
Says Shaiman, "We always saw what we wanted to tinker with," but they were not able to because of pre-opening issues with the show's scenery. O'Brien found the London production to be "overwhelmed with production values ... This piece is about imagination. We engage the audience to play with us." The guests also describe other key changes in the New York production.
The production at Broadway's Lunt-Fontanne Theatre stars Christian Borle, who Wittman describes as "part Danny Kaye, part Olivier, and part Bugs Bunny." As for the leading actors in the two film versions, O'Brien praises Gene Wilder but says, "I thought Johnny Depp was channeling Carol Channing."