'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' Heading to Broadway - Rolling Stone
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‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ Heading to Broadway

Musical to closely resemble 1971 film starring Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; BroadwayCharlie and the Chocolate Factory; Broadway

A musical version of 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' will premiere on Broadway in spring 2017

Mary Evans/David Wolper Productions/Ronald Grant/Everett

A musical version of Roald Dahl’s beloved book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory will hit Broadway in spring 2017. The New York production will be a revised take of the production that has run in London’s West End since 2013.

Jack O’Brien (Hairspray) will direct the Broadway adaptation of the show while Joshua Berasse (On the Town) will choreograph. Like the West End production, music will be by Marc Shaiman, lyrics will be by Shaiman and Scott Wittman and David Greig will helm the book. No casting decisions have been announced yet.

O’Brien released a statement noting that the Broadway version would more directly resemble the original 1971 film adaptation (via The New York Times). “Since the first production was created for London, it’s only fair we do an American version, and in America, our connection is to the 1971 movie and the indelible impression of Gene Wilder as the slyly wicked Wonka,” O’Brien said. Dahl’s book was re-adapted in 2005 by Tim Burton with Johnny Depp taking on Wilder’s iconic role.

“Why does Wonka want to do this Golden Ticket contest and what compels him to want to give it all away? I started with the question why. This is the dramatic premise I hang the whole show on,” added O’Brien. 

Previously, Dahl’s Matilda was adapted in 2013 and has been running on Broadway ever since. It had been a transfer of London’s West End production that premiered in 2011. At the 2013 Tony Awards, Matilda was nominated for Best Musical and won Best Book of a Musical and Best Featured Actor in a Musical for Gabriel Ebert’s portrayal of Mr. Wormwood.

West End’s production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was directed by Sam Mendes and starred Douglas Hodge as Willy Wonka. It was nominated for Best New Musical at the 2014 Laurence Olivier Awards.

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