Jackie Hoffman was okay. The non-stop "i'm an alcoholic" jokes grew old REAL fast and her one number was good, but not great. There were a TON of kids in the audience which made these types of jokes fall very flat. Again, I didn't see the Depp version of the movie but the kids are much more modernized (Mike Teavee is basically a mini Donald Trump and there are several lines that allude to this - 'tiny hands', 'yuuuuge', etc.) so if you're expecting a replica from the Wilder original you'll be disappointed
You gotta admit every scene of the WestEnd version was visually enterteining and beautifully made: Charlie's house, the entrance of the factory with that big gate, the waiting room with drawers and the tall ladder, all the factory rooms, each one different from every other one. And the glass elevator at the end. Why broadway is doing this?
I was there last night as well.If Christian Borle wasn't Wonka I probably would have hated it. His performance was thoughtful, nuanced, funny and his voice has never sounded better. He carries the entire show.The biggest disappointment for me was the set. I was excepting something spectacular based on how much work they did to the outside of the theatre and pictures from London. The entire first act uses only two pieces that are set at the far left and right of the stage (the Buckett house and a candy shop). At intermission I desperately hoped that the reason behind the minimalist set was to blow us away when we entered the factory (kind of like when Dorothy lands in Oz). Sadly, the act one set was better than the second. Without giving away too much detail, the second looked like a model that should have been built in full scale.As for the other performances, the only ones that stood out for me were Kathy Fitzgerald and F. Michael Haynie (the Gloops). They are hilarious together. I really wished that could have stayed in the factory a little longer. The talents of Emily Padgett, Ben Crawford and Jackie Hoffman are woefully underused.As for the book, the first act had some definite pacing issues. The moment when Charlie finds the golden tickets is completely anti-climactic. The ballet between Charlie's mother and father is so out of place and grinds any momentum briefly gained by the lotto winners to a halt. The audience also seemed to be confused about whether or not the song/scene ended because many of the songs felt unfinished and seemed to be pausing for applause but should have gone into the next number directly. Do we applaud? Do we not applaud?The score was mediocre. The only numbers that worked for me were More of Him to Love, It Must be Believed to Be Seen and The View from Here. Shaiman appeared to pull "Cut, Print, Moving On" from Smash and reworked it for the opening number of act two. Candy Man and Pure Imagination are cut up with dialogue and therefore not able to be truly enjoyed.I so, so, so wanted to love this show but the only thing I loved was Borle's performance. That alone was worth the price of admission.
The only set they kept is the elevator at the end.
wssinsider said: "Valurca Salt. The squirrels come out with her limbs and her head. Not child friendly if you tell me. The sets are a mess a HOT boring mess "OH MY GOD WHAT. I CANT STOP LAUGHING
What does the candy room and boat look like?
Good heavens. I'd been looking forward to this. Now? Not so much.
Wow these reports are awful!! I certainly hoped the show would make some changes, but cutting all the fun scenery??? Also, was anyone really hoping for a ballet duet between Charlie's mom and her dead husband? That seems like it would grind the already long first act to a halt.
Now I'm glad I didn't purchase tickets.
It really doesn't make sense? Why those changes to set?! Set design was the only thing they shouldn't have changed
I am not surprised at all that the show is just as bad or now even worse than London. I had a tiny bit interest when it was announced, but most of it was dashed when it was announced that adults were playing the kids. And any little interest I had because of these reviews about Christian is completely gone---especially now with the disturbing murder of the bratty girl. This isn't going to last at all.
Call_me_jorge said: "What does the candy room and boat look like? " Theres no set set for the candy room, just a mixer set piece in the middle. The boat is tiny and is only Willy, Mike and the mom and projections nothing else
Call_me_jorge said: "What does the candy room and boat look like?"Not much.The Candy Room looks like the initial mock up or diorama of what should have been built to fill the entire stage. It is a smallish rectangular piece that is rolled forward.For the boat they use blue lighting and a long wavy piece about three quarters up vertically that runs the entire length of the stage. The boat looks like something from Cat in the Hat that rises up to be just above the blue wave.
Very sad to see "Simply Second Nature" go - just revisited it on Spotify and I just love the song and it gave a wonderful insight into Wonka.
Well, sounds like they're continuing to go out of their way to thumb their nose at the Gene Wilder film. I in turn shall continue to pass on this.
disneybroadwayfan22 said: "wssinsider said: "Valurca Salt. The squirrels come out with her limbs and her head. Not child friendly if you tell me. The sets are a mess a HOT boring mess "OH MY GOD WHAT. I CANT STOP LAUGHING "Just as much fun as the squirrels, Violet Beauregarde explodes into what looks like a big mass of torn up purple material.
kellyhallo said: "Just as much fun as the squirrels, Violet Beauregarde explodes into what looks like a big mass of torn up purple material." Good God, what the hell is wrong with the show?! The show does not sound pleasant at all.
Wow they actually show Violet's remains? Holy craphow did they handle the rest of her scene? Her initial inflation and her final blueberry form. I saw the blueberry costume on Instagram and it looks so... small. Is there anything else to it?
Interesting that the rotten kids are actually killed off. In both movies, you either are led to believe the rotten children eventually leave the chocolate factory or actually see them leaving. I can't recall how it's dealt with in the book.
Some of these reports are making me genuinely mad. Chocolate Factory is one of the most beloved stories from my childhood (and I speak for many, many others when I say that). It's truly infuriating to hear that this team is just totally dropping the ball for its Broadway premiere—an adaptation that should be triumphant and glorious.
The original book is rather dark, isn't it? It's Roald Dahl after all. That said, showing limbs seems needlessly dark...
I always thought the material was kind of foolproof simply because it's so strong. I guess... I guess it's not.
In the book, the children are seen leaving the factory. I think they handle it differently in each of the movies but I do think this is the first version where they're definitively dead.
"Interesting that the rotten kids are actually killed off...I can't recall how it's dealt with in the book."In the book, the other children are all seen leaving the factory, worse for wear, but very much alive.
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