Roald Dahl’s CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY Review

BIC_Charlie and the Chocolate Factory_8

Noah Weisberg as Willy Wonka and company. Photo by Joan Marcus.

Roald Dahl’s CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY presented by Broadway in  Cincinnati through Nov. 4. Click here for a synopsis and more information on the production. I attended the opening night performance.

Broadway in Cincinnati opens its 2018-2019 season with a new musical version of the classic children’s novel. Premiering in 2013 in London’s West End, the musical closed after three and a half years before being reworked for the Broadway stage. There it ran for nine months beginning April 2017. This touring production launched last month.

BIC_Charlie and the Chocolate Factory_6

Noah Weisberg as Willy Wonka and company. Photo by Joan Marcus.

As someone who grew up with fond memories of the 1971 movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, this new musical is a bit of a mixed bag. Three songs from the movie have been incorporated into this production: “The Candy Man,” “I’ve Got a Golden Ticket,” and “Pure Imagination.” Mrs. Bucket’s ballad, “If Your Father Were Here” was my favorite of the new songs. That probably isn’t a fair statement as opening night was again plagued by sound issues. Any time the full orchestra kicked in, it became a struggle to hear the vocalists over the music. This happened most notably during the ticket winners’ intro numbers. Add in the heavy accents of the German Gloops and the now Russian Salts and the lyrics became unintelligible.

BIC_Charlie and the Chocolate Factory_7

Henry Boshart as Charlie Bucket & Noah Weisberg as Willy Wonka. Photo by Joan Marcus.

Performance-wise, I really enjoyed Amanda Rose as Mrs. Bucket. She had a lovely singing voice and it was easy to see where Charlie got his positive outlook on life. Tuesday evening Henry Boshart played Charlie Bucket and handled the demands of the role well. James Young was fun and charming in the role of Grandpa Joe. I did feel that Noah Weisberg has yet to find his footing in the role of Willy Wonka. Bigger and stronger choices would help in that regard. The show does sport a strong ensemble who handled the supporting roles (including the Oompa Loompas) and fun choreography very well.

The colorful costumes and intricate set pieces were visually interesting. The multi-media for the show was also hit-or-miss for me. For some scenes it added a fun visual element, for others its use seem to be an afterthought.

Overall, an entertaining but uneven musical with enough spectacle to keep audiences engaged.

My rating: 4.25 out of 5.

I would enjoy hearing what you think about the show or my review. All I ask is that you express your opinion without attacking someone else’s opinion. You can post your comments below.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Reviews

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.