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'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' heading to Broadway

By Karen Butler   |   March 17, 2016 at 3:28 PM
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NEW YORK, March 17 (UPI) -- A stage musical based on Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is to open on Broadway in the spring of 2017, Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures, Langley Park Productions and Neal Street Productions announced Thursday.

No casting has been revealed yet.

The fantasy novel was previously adapted twice for the big screen -- as Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory starring Gene Wilder in 1971 and as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory headlined by Johnny Depp in 2005.

The New York stage show is to be directed by three-time Tony Award winner Jack O'Brien and choreographed by Emmy Award winner Joshua Bergasse. It will feature music by Grammy, Emmy and Tony Award winner Marc Shaiman, lyrics by Grammy and Tony Award winners Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman, and a book by David Greig, artistic director of Edinburgh's Royal Lyceum theater.

The design team, Broadway house and dates will be announced soon, the producers said.

A Charlie and the Chocolate Factory musical has been playing in London since 2013 and is wrapping up its four-year run. That version was helmed by Sam Mendes, with choreography by Peter Darling.

"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," O'Brien said in a statement. "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."

"I loved directing Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and I'm really proud it's having such great run at Drury Lane," Mendes added. "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."

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