brian1973 said: "It's so inspiring to know that all along so many contributors to this forum were scenic designers! Suddenly everyone could design this show better.. not quite sure what the problem is with it judging by those pictures . It's nice that it's a different approach to London. I think the point is you are never going to win if you attempt to do something like they did on film for the Chocolate Room etc, you can't have an ACTUAL chocolate river on stage for goodness sake.i for one am going to actually go and see the show before just copying everyone and tearing it to pieces.i might go and absolutely hate it.. but it's ridiculous to so passionately dismiss it without seeing it, and only after seeing a few crappy (and illegal) Instagram pictures. "Plenty of people here have seen it and disliked it. Others are simply commenting on the pictures which is hardly a crime.
One needn't be a scenic designer to critique a set.
A good number of people trashing it have seen it...Let's see, my friend was visiting, saw Charlie and then Wicked the next day, and wrote me: "Comparing the sets of Wicked to Wonka, the latter looks even more like a community theatre production in Iowa."She is also, however, not a scenic designer. But she did pay to see it.
I'm not scenic designer myself, but that doesn't mean we can't criticize a set design. That being said, I know designing a set for a show is not easy. Lord knows how long it takes for someone to come up with a concept. Now when I saw some of the pictures of act one, the set seemed ok. It could've been better, but I liked what I saw. It's just when you go into the factory, that's where the disappointment is. I wouldn't mind the walls if there was a lot more on stage, and if the walls could've probably been able to change color or texture to fit the setting of each different room. The rooms should not look the same, in my opinion. They should all have a different feel to it. Hell, even if they put some more props on the stage to fill it up, that's better than nothing.
Yes that's the solution! Fill the stage with props! Stuff.. everywhere!
If ever there was a show that called for a lavish, visually stunning set design, it's this one. The building from the outside looks more like a tool shed than an a huge factory and inside, as many have said, it's just plain. What a missed opportunity.And for the record, I'm not a set designer, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.
That hotel doesn't sound very fancy..
brian1973 said: "That hotel doesn't sound very fancy.. They're not charging broadway prices and unlike Charlie, I get a hot breakfast included.
Oh god the photo of the mixing room... There is no depth, no real visual interest. Everyone standing in a line on either side of the one machine surrounded by nothingness. Grotesque.
brian1973 said: "... you can't have an ACTUAL chocolate river on stage for goodness sake."London achieved it. Bit of plastic + some cunning projection = a seriously effective result.
remark said: "brian1973 said: "... you can't have an ACTUAL chocolate river on stage for goodness sake."London achieved it. Bit of plastic + some cunning projection = a seriously effective result. "the london set received a lot of criticism when it first opened because the chocolate river was just a solid piece of plastic. often described as the weakest scene in terms of set. it wasnt very effective and there wasnt any hint of flowing liquid in terms of projections.
Princeton2 said: "remark said: "brian1973 said: "... you can't have an ACTUAL chocolate river on stage for goodness sake."London achieved it. Bit of plastic + some cunning projection = a seriously effective result."the london set received a lot of criticism when it first opened because the chocolate river was just a solid piece of plastic. often described as the weakest scene in terms of set. it wasnt very effective and there wasnt any hint of flowing liquid in terms of projections."There most definitely was projections making the the flow effect. I saw it with my own eyes 5 times.
The London Choc river did indeed have a projection that made it look like it was flowing.
London was not perfect but it had big elaborate sets that made up for somewhat of a weak script. Sadly the magic is gone in NYC. I'm not kidding when I say the chocolate factory is now the size of your grandpa's model train station in his basement. The elevator that went up and over the front of the audience in London now just go's up and down. Also the element of anticipation one had in London waiting to see Wonka is eliminated now that Wonka is the first person we meet in the NYC production. Gone is the giant nut cracking machine whereby Varuna is simply cracked as a bad nut, not ripped to shreds by scary interpative dance squirrels. And for the love of god where is that big beautiful TV set; sadly the magic is gone.
If the show was so loved in London why were there so many changes for New York? Has it ever been said? I'm genuinely curious. Anyone got a pic of the outside of the theatre as well?
ucjrdude902 said: "If the show was so loved in London why were there so many changes for New York? Has it ever been said? I'm genuinely curious."I'm guessing you are referring to the sets specifically? Because the show itself was panned by critics and fans alike.
Ah, I was under the impression that it was the opposite. Then again, I haven't kept track.
ucjrdude902 said: "Ah, I was under the impression that it was the opposite. Then again, I haven't kept track."Well so far, it is looking like the Broadway version has somehow taken horrible and made it even worse, more movie songs be damned.
The drunk British critics mostly like any musical that originates in the UK. They even gave Love Never Dies good reviews. Charlie was a snooze fest there. The first 5 minutes was so horrifying and the score stunk IMHO..
The show wasn't loved in London. It was praised for its spectacle but many found the book and original score lacking. So the idea was that they would fix the book and score and start fresh. But it seems they've ditched the spectacle and made sideways moves on the book and score, so now it's just a negative net change.I am not opposed to the idea of a minimalist Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, or a production that encourages the audience to use their imagination. In fact, I could very easily imagine a production staged with the concept of a boy reading the book in his bedroom and the factory coming to life with normal household objects. I could very easily imagine a production like Peter and the Starcatcher, with actors using props and their bodies to create environments. But this doesn't seem like they've committed to a minimalist idea. It just looks half-assed.
Kad said: "I am not opposed to the idea of a minimalist Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, or a production that encourages the audience to use their imagination. In fact, I could very easily imagine a production staged with the concept of a boy reading the book in his bedroom and the factory coming to life with normal household objects. I could very easily imagine a production like Peter and the Starcatcher, with actors using props and their bodies to create environments."I agree completely, I could definitely see that working. Unfortunately, that kind of concept only works when the source material is rock solid. A bare minimum production is when you get to find out how good the material really is. It's like when a singer sings a capella.
haterobics said: "A good number of people trashing it have seen it...Let's see, my friend was visiting, saw Charlie and then Wicked the next day, and wrote me: "Comparing the sets of Wicked to Wonka, the latter looks even more like a community theatre production in Iowa."She is also, however, not a scenic designer. But she did pay to see it. "Wow, really? I haven't seen Wonka, and I don't plan to, but remember seeing Wicked ages ago (with original cast and Taye Diggs, for some reason) and walking out of that show being totally underwhelmed by the set design. I thought Wicked looked like a college production. I can't imagine Wonka being worse.
The production designer gave the director and producers what they wanted. They are limited to what the vision of the production is. Since it's a Warner Bros production, I'm guessing the producers probably have the most influence on everything and the director just gets a signoff and has to agree to what their vision is. The article in the NYT has the director and choreographer gushing about how the audience is LOVING this production and totally get the child being ripped apart by squirrels. I can't wait for the reviews.
I have had zero interest in seeing this show since it was announced. Reading about it on this thread -- and seeing the instagram pictures -- have led me to conclude that I wouldn't want to see this if I was given 8th row center orchestra comps for opening night. I have not read anything about this show's advance, but have to assume that it is pretty good, given the business it is doing in previews. Will be interesting to see what happens if it gets the brutal reviews that everyone is expecting -- of course, Spiderman ran for 2 1/2 years, if I remember correctly, so you never know. People who want to expose their children to live theatre will go to extreme lengths to take their kids to something they haven't already seen, e.g., Lion King and Aladdin. I know...I sat through Tarzan and Seussical.
Hi All,I usually just sit back and read the threads. I decided to register and post for the first time in response to this thread.I saw Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in London. The show was quite dreadful. The set was quite large in some scenes. It was beautiful at some points. It did have a lot of static elements and used projections heavily to make it appear that the set was more complex than it actually was. The set (in some scenes) was the ONLY saving grace of the London production.I saw Charlie on Broadway this past week with a group of friends. We all quite loved the show we saw on Wednesday night! The audience that attended with us was very enthusiastic and quite happy as well.The music and songs are so much better than the London production. The movie songs and new songs have been reworked nicley. There is some work that needs to be done on the book/narrative. The show is good. It could be better if some of the narrative elements are polished.The show and set are COMPLETELY different than the London show. That is a plus in my opinion.The cast was AMAZING! They gave it their all and it showed every moment they were onstage. The "adult" actors always seemed childlike in their performances. I found it to be very tongue in cheek! Charlie seemed so honest and innocent compared to the other "kids".The set is quite brilliant. There are many amazing moments. It does not look cheap. (Nor do the costumes.) It is just more stylized than the London version. The stage here is also much smaller. Things have been compacted a bit because of the venue.The only part of the set that was a bit of a letdown was the Chocolate Room. It was much better than described on this thread....however....it could use a makeover. The colors and shapes in the diorama seem out of place. The scale is off. It could be reworked a bit and it would be more appealing. The plant elements and miniature cows are very odd. They could "replant" the garden, add some projections to the side walls, add a few side elements and the scene would work fine. (The London Chocolate Room set was a wide swath of fake green grass and some giant flowers. It was just bigger & slightly more colorful....not necessarily better!)I can't find fault in the set at any other point in the show. I think less is better is some cases. (I loved the set for Aida!) The Charlie set works stylistically throughout....except for the Chocolate Room. I was very happy with the way they enhanced the elevator at the end. It does not simply move around in front of a starry background. The entire roof of the set comes down to reveal the factory & village below. It was BEAUTIFUL!The set is not cheap! There are some very complex projection effects that are integrated throughout. Mike's scene is well done! The end of act one offers a wonderful bit of magic as well!I love the "adult" humor and elements in the show. Varuca's tragic end left the audience stunned....and then there was a mass applause! There are a lot of "grown up" jokes in the show. The dark side of Dahl is alive and well in this production. I loved that aspect! The audience was calling out to Charlie in the final moments of the show! He was about to peek into Wonka's notebook and the audience (adults) called out to protect him! It was so much fun!Honestly....this show is not as bad as the "original" Carrie or Urban Cowboy (YUCK!)! It doesn't come close to being the bomb of the century!!! Heck...Book of Mormon has one set (the African village) on stage for almost the entire second act! I thought that set was much more of a letdown than Charlie's set! Charlie's set is much more original! Please give it a chance!This is simply my opinion/POV. I plan on heading back after opening to see how the show has been polished up. I just wanted to share some hope!
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