Play Cashoccino – Sometimes just getting into the theater feels like winning a golden ticket. Every time the reality of life in the face of a pandemic resurfaces, we put on our masks, check our vaccinations, and go bravely and safely where we once went with joy.
This week at the Landmark Theatre, the iconic Broadway troupe returns with a musical based on Roald Dahl’s children’s book, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, adding “Golden Ticket” to our vocabulary. After an interrupted pre-Covid run, the tour that has emerged here is sprawling, tasteful and familiar.
Dahl’s book has been filmed twice, and a third film, a Wonka origin story, is in the works. Gene Wilder starred in the 1984 film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, so the plot is still familiar. Here, Willy Wonka, played by Cody Garcia, owns a mysterious chocolate factory. He created a competition to hide golden tickets in five wonka bars. Five kids who get the tickets get a tour of the factory and a lifetime supply of Wonka candies.
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Poor boy Charlie Bucket, in the performance I attended (he stars with William Goldsman and Jackson Greenspan, among others), is charmingly played by the flamboyant Coleman Simmons, who desperately wants to win. He lives in a fairytale version of poverty with his mother and four old grandparents, who sleep in the same bed. Miraculously, he finds a bar with a golden ticket and is led on a tour by Grandpa Joe, played by Steve McCoy.
The other four ticket holders, played by the adults, are selfish, greedy, disobedient brats and self-serving in a Roald Dahl way. Matthew Boyd Snyder is Mike Teavy, a media addict.
The production is produced by a dynamic cast. Not only does Garcia look like Willy Wonka, but he exhibits the character’s famous whimsy and mystery. Pint-sized Simmons, the Charlie I saw, delivers a confident performance. Claire Leydon loves the role of Charlie’s loving mother. Kathie Faye Francis is funny and a little disturbing as Mike Teavee’s bruised mother.
Structurally, the musical takes a long time to transport us, as the long performances begin to feel vampiric. Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricuss’s famous soundtrack, “Candyman”, “Pure Imagination” and a few bars of “Oompa Loompa” remain poignant. Much of the new score, by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman (the team behind “Hairspray”), is pleasant but unremarkable.
Charlie And The Chocolate Factory: A Play
The show comes to life with Garcia and the ensemble performing Wonka’s original play, “Seeing Is Believing.” A trip to the chocolate factory does not take place until the second part, the scene, turns into Crayola colors and deepens with imaginative imagination. The appearance of the Oompa Loompas, Wonka’s employees, sealed the deal. The familiar charm of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory kicks into high gear.
If you purchase a product or register for an account through one of the links on our website, we may receive compensation. Willy Wonka said his Gobstoppers last forever. “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” ran on Broadway for less than a year.
The show arrived from London in April with high expectations from a new creative team, script, set design and soundtrack, and Warner Bros., one of only three people backing the show. The London production, directed by Sam Mendes, opened to mixed reviews in 2013 but ran for four years.
The Broadway production at the Lunt-Fontanne Theater is directed by Jack O’Brien and stars two-time Tony Award winner Christian Borle as Willy Wonka in an ensemble cast (mostly adults). , children who won golden tickets. The musical got off to a strong start at the box office, earning $1 million in its first four months. But in the middle of the theater’s busy season, ticket sales dipped, reaching $558,636 in the week of Oct. 1. According to a representative, the show did not recoup its investment.
Charlie And The Chocolate Factory Opening Friday At Mct
The lackluster reviews probably didn’t help. “It’s only in the second half that the show gets a unique flavor, and it’s not sweet,” wrote Ben Brantley in The Times. The show was not nominated for a Tony.
Producers have announced plans to launch a national tour of the production in September 2018 and an international tour in Australia. Warner Bros. Theater Ventures will focus on several film adaptations slated for Broadway, including “Beetlejuice” and “A Star Is Born.” Capitol Theatre, Sydney For a show that draws on the sheer power of ‘Pure Imagination’. A musical based on a beloved children’s book feels so small
Paul Slade Smith is a haughty Willy Wonka with a funny and devilish personality. The cast of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Photo: Jeff Busby
For a show that relies on the sheer power of “pure imagination,” Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the new musical based on Roald Dahl’s beloved children’s book, feels small.
Charlie And The Chocolate Factory Review
On a compact set (designed by Mark Thompson) in the middle of the Capitol Theater, the boutique feels clunky and plasticky. If this production was ever luxurious in its West End and Broadway tours, it will be given considerable shine by its international tour cuts.
But finding the magic can be a case of faith or belief. As Wonka often sings – “seeing is believing.”
This entire creation was created by the brutal will of faith. In Australia, after critical seasons in London and New York, the musical has been revised so many times, plot holes patched and mistakes corrected, that the musical hangs by a thread, spinning between Oompa-Loompa’s exotic shoots through gritted teeth. and a tense but heartfelt number about the power of daydreaming.
The story you remember from your childhood is more or less preserved, but here it is focused, distorted and conflicted. Willy Wonka (Paul Slade Smith) introduces himself to us as the overture ends, explaining his desire for work, industry and retirement. He then opens a chocolate shop on a poor suburban street where Charlie Bucket (Ryan Yates, cute as a button on opening night) appears, calling home for his family to reconnect with the market. Wonka bars are good, Charlie explained. He loves them for his dumb childish charm, but the other kids are less impressed, especially since Wonka doesn’t do TV commercials. Charlie, a nice but colorless character, often gets the spotlight with this extra hour and Wonka.
Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory (1971)
You know the rest, more or less, although writer David Gray has modernized and complicated the story: Wonka is inspired to open his factory by children holding one of five golden tickets hidden in chocolate boxes around the world; Rounding out the top four are greedy Augustus Gloop (Jake Fehily, in a pitifully fat suit), feisty Veruca Salt reimagined as a young Russian ballerina (Karina Russell), bubblegum-chewing Violet Beauregard, self-proclaimed YouTube- starlet, the “Queen of Pop” (Monette McKay) and Mike Teavee (Harrison Riley), a drug-addicted, aggressive player.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory stars Jake Fehely as Augustus Gloop and Octavia Barron Martin as Mrs. Gloop. Photo: Jeff Busby
After Charlie pockets a dollar from Wonka’s closed window, he takes the ticket and says goodbye to his family. Mr. Bucket is long gone – who closes all the toothpaste tubes at the factory? – Mrs. Bucket (an underused and adorable Lucy Maunder) is responsible for providing the voice. Unfortunately, her best moment is when she abdicates her role as a successful, loving parent in As Your Father Were Here, over her absent husband.
These new songs and lyrics by Broadway power couple Mark Shaiman and Scott Wittman (Hairspray, Mary Poppins Returns) sit uncomfortably against the 1971 soundtrack, hyperactive and at odds with the script rather than soulful. internal sense of speed and time. However, Joshua Bergasse’s choreography is effervescent and a joy to watch.
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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory stars Ryan Yates as Charlie and Paul Slade Smith as Willy Wonka. Photo: Jeff Busby
The narrative is clear in its broad scope, but muddled by details and small moments. Charlie is constantly lost in the noise, jokes about the alcoholism and desperation of Mrs. Tivy (Jade Westaby) and her 1950s-style housewife, while the Oompa-Loompas are a timeless, unresolved racism stereotype, seem like a concept.
All the drama unfolds before we even get to the chocolate factory, and when we finally do, the toy box-sized and clumsy cannibals feel too small and fake, leaving no room to revel in what is ultimately a strong plot and fast-moving action. This wonderland.
Smith is a high-energy Wonka, funny and diabolical. Having underplayed the role on Broadway, her performance is timely and well-acted, but her cast poses a serious challenge to the import of the musical’s main characters.
Charlie And The Chocolate Factory: The Musical Review
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