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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory set for Spring 2017 bow

Tom Millward
Tom Millward

It has now been officially confirmed that Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - The Musical, currently entertaining audiences in London's West End, will be opening on the Great White Way in Spring 2017.

The Broadway production will be directed by three-time Tony winner Jack O'Brien and choreographed by Tony nominee & Emmy winner Joshua Bergasse, as the original London creative team was unable to commit due to scheduling conflicts.

Director Jack O'Brien released the following statement:

"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. Sam and I have both spent our careers putting our personal spin on classics, be it by William Shakespeare or Roald Dahl. 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. The score will pay homage to the beloved Leslie Bricusse/Anthony Newley songs that are integral to the American relationship to the story, combined with all new songs crafted by the American team that created one of Broadway's most beloved scores, Hairspray. There is room for both of these talented voices in one classic to tell our version of the story, as long as the story stays eternal and true."
Sam Mendes, Director of the West End production, added:
"I loved directing Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and I'm really proud it's having such a great run at Drury Lane. But I knew I couldn't marry the time commitment to make a Broadway production with the development of my next projects. As such I am thrilled to be turning the keys to the Broadway Chocolate Factory over to the brilliant Jack O'Brien."
Jack O'Brien previously collaborated with the show's composers Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman on the Broadway production of 'Hairspray.'

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - The Musical features music by Grammy, Emmy & Tony winner Marc Shaiman, lyrics by Grammy & Tony winners Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman, and a book by David Greig.

Synopsis: "Willy Wonka, world famous inventor of the Everlasting Gobstopper, has just made an astonishing announcement. His marvelous—and mysterious—factory is opening its a lucky few. That includes young Charlie Bucket, whose life definitely needs sweetening. He and four other golden ticket winners will embark on a mesmerizing, life-changing journey through Wonka's world of pure imagination. Get ready for chocolate waterfalls, exquisitely nutty squirrels and the great glass elevator, all to be revealed by Wonka's army of curious Oompa-Loompas."

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - The Musical is produced on Broadway by Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures, Langley Park Productions and Neal Street Productions.

Theatre, exact dates, casting and additional creative team information will be announced in the coming months.

Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - The Musical officially opened at London's Theatre Royal Drury Lane on 25 July 2013, following previews from 22 May, with mixed to positive reviews. It received a total of 7 Olivier Award nominations in 2014, including Best New Musical, picking up the awards for Best Costume Design and Best Lighting Design. The original cast starred Tony and Olivier winner Douglas Hodge in the iconic role of Willy Wonka. He was eventually replaced by Alex Jennings and the role is currently played by Jonathan Slinger. The London production is now in its fourth and final year, currently booking through to 7 January 2017.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - The Musical is based on Roald Dahl's 1964 children's novel and the 1971 film adaptation (entitled "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory") starring Gene Wilder. A 2005 re-make was also released under the direction of Tim Burton, which starred Johnny Depp.

- by Tom Millward

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