The story of Charlie Bucket, a boy who lives the dream when he scores a coveted golden ticket to the insane and sweet factory of eccentric inventor Willy Wonka, is coming to the Great White Way. Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures, Langley Park Productions, and Neal Street Productions announced today that Charlie and the Chocolate Factory will make its Broadway bow in the spring of 2017. Based on Roald Dahl’s best-selling novel, the show will be directed by three-time Tony Award winner Jack O’Brien (Hairspray, Henry IV), with choreography by Emmy winner Joshua Bergasse (Smash) and music by Tony, Grammy, and Emmy award winner Marc Shaiman (Hairspray). Shaiman and Scott Wittman will pen lyrics while David Greig, artistic director of Edinburgh’s Royal Lyceum theatre will pen the book.
The Broadway production follows the musical’s Olivier and Evening Standard award-winning run in London’s West End, where it has been playing for four years under the direction of Sam Mendes, with choreography by Peter Darling.
“I loved directing Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and I’m really proud it’s having such great run at Drury Lane,” Mendes said in a statement. “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.”
“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,” O’Brien said in a press release. “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.”
Broadway dates, as well as a theater and the show’s design team, will be announced at a later date.