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."
The Charlie and the Chocolate Factory edition of THEATER TALK premieres in the New York City metropolitan area Friday, May 19 (2017) on PBS station Thirteen/WNET at 1:30 AM (early Saturday morning) and repeats there on Sunday 5/21 at 11:30 AM; it re-airs on CUNY TV* Saturday 5/20 at 8:30 PM, Sunday 5/21 at 12:30 PM, and Monday 5/22 at 7:30 AM, 1:30 PM, and 7:30 PM; and also airs on WLIW/21 on Monday 5/22 at 5:30 PM and on NYCLife on Thursday 5/25 at 11 PM.
THEATER TALK, the 2017 Emmy Award-winning interview/discussion series is jointly produced by the not-for-profits Theater Talk Productions and CUNY TV. The program is taped in the Himan Brown TV and Radio Studios at The City University of New York (CUNY) TV in Manhattan, and is distributed to 100+ participating public television stations nationwide. THEATER TALK is made possible in part by The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, The CUNY TV Foundation, and The Friends of Theater Talk.
*CUNY TV, the City University of New York television station, is broadcast in the NYC metropolitan area on digital Ch. 25.3 and cablecast in the city's five boroughs on Ch. 75 (Spectrum & Optimum/Brooklyn), Ch. 77 (RCN), and Ch. 30 (Verizon FiOS). THEATER TALK episodes are available online anytime at www.cuny.tv and www.theatertalk.org and via iTunes.