Thanks to the 2-For-1 NYC Broadway Week deal, I scored discounted tickets and took my family to see the musical Charlie and the Chocolate Factory on Broadway last weekend. I’m so happy to report that the show is scrumdiddlyumptious.
The truth is anyone who is a real Roald Dahl fan obviously loves Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory, the 1971 film adaptation of his book Charlie and The Chocolate Factory. Which means there is no one besides the late, great Gene Wilder who can truly capture the eccentric, equal parts charismatic and creepy candy man. Mention the awful 2015 remake and you get nothing! You lose! Good day, sir!
Tony award winner Christian Borle, however, comes awfully close to Wilder’s perfection.
The musical takes the main storyline from the novel, adds a bit from the original film, and reworks it into a modern morality lesson. And the adaptation really speaks to it’s younger audience.
Violet is still a competitive gum chewer, but she’s now a Hip Hop dancing “Queen of Pop.” Mike Teevee is still obsessed with screens, but now it’s iPhones and iPads. But there are still parts that remain true to Dahl’s original, like sweet, honest Charlie — played perfectly by Ryan Foust in the show we saw — and quirky, lovable Grandpa Joe.
Another highlight are the Oompa Loompas and the fantastic puppetry used to depict them in the production.
Overall, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory on Broadway is not perfect, but it captures enough of the magic, and a bit of the creepiness, to make it a family-pleaser. Get your Golden Tickets and enjoy the show.
Charlie and The Chocolate Factory
Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, 205 W 46th Street (Between 8th Avenue & Broadway), NYC
Running Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes, including one 15-minute intermission.
Where to Eat
- If you want to continue your showtunes high, take the kids to Ellen’s Stardust Diner (1650 Broadway, 51st Street). The retro 1950s theme restaurant is filled with memorabilia and, best of all, wait staff who sing while serving your supper. The menu offers your basic diner favorites and drool-worthy milkshakes. (Bonus for peanut allergic diners — the shakes are safe!)
- Or try one of our other favorite nearby spots: Sugar Factory and Coffeemania.