I grew up watching WILLY WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY the film with the brilliant Gene Wilder. The movie happens to be one of my childhood favorites and to this day when it is on I watch it. I must have seen it 50 or more times. The show playing on Broadway at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre is a must for the child that grew up with the love of the original film. This version leaves a lot more to your imagination.
The stellar cast and incredible choreography by Joshua Bergasse do not disappoint. The Oompa Loompa scenes were so funny and creative they had me roaring with laughter. It was hilarious.
Jared Bradshaw known for many years in Forbidden Broadway makes a very over the top OOMPA LOOMPA and seeing his hilarious facial expressions was worth the price of admission alone. Being seated in the third row, was magical. It made me giddy and gleeful and I felt like I was five again.
Christian Borle is perfection as Willy, and he impressed me as always.
My one problem with the show are the sets. They were not spectacular, and you needed to leave it to your own imagination, unlike the movie that was over the top and lavish. The cast, music, and show were a lot of fun, but some lavish sets are needed to compete with the original film.
If you want to have a good time and loved the Gene Wilder version of this film, you will have a great time, but you will need your imagination as the sets pale in comparison. The show, however, is a very entertaining night at the theater if you can let yourself go and let your inner child out for the night.
Corine Dana Cohen for Broadway Showbiz.
This is a must for adults with a love for the movie. There are a few scary scenes that might scare very young children. 10 and up.
In a perfect World, they would cast Jennifer Cody as the Russian Ballerina Princess. She would be priceless in that role.