ANNOUNCING BROADWAY’S WILLY WONKA, DESIGN TEAM AND THEATER

May 9, 2016

 

ANNOUNCING BROADWAY’S WILLY WONKA, DESIGN TEAM AND THEATER

 

TWO-TIME TONY AWARD WINNER CHRISTIAN BORLE IS WILLY WONKA

IN

WARNER BROS. THEATRE VENTURES, LANGLEY PARK PRODUCTIONS

AND NEAL STREET PRODUCTIONS’

 

PERFORMANCES BEGIN MARCH 2017 AT BROADWAY’S

LUNT-FONTANNE THEATRE

 

MUSIC BY MARC SHAIMAN

LYRICS BY SCOTT WITTMAN AND MARC SHAIMAN

BOOK BY DAVID GREIG

DIRECTED BY JACK O’BRIEN

CHOREOGRAPHED BY JOSHUA BERGASSE

 

SCENIC DESIGN AND COSTUME DESIGN BY FIVE-TIME TONY AWARD NOMINEE

MARK THOMPSON

LIGHTING BY FOUR-TIME TONY AWARD NOMINEE JAPHY WEIDEMAN

PUPPET DESIGN BY OBIE AND DRAMA DESK AWARD WINNER BASIL TWIST

ORCHESTRATIONS BY THREE-TIME TONY AWARD WINNER DOUG BESTERMAN

 

A WONKA-SIZED EVERLASTING SHOWSTOPPER

BASED ON THE BEST-SELLING NOVEL BY ROALD DAHL

 

(New York, NY) Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures, Langley Park Productions and Neal Street Productions announced today that two-time Tony Award winner Christian Borle (Something Rotten, Peter and the Starcatcher) will originate the role of Willy Wonka in the Broadway premiere of Roald Dahl's CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY which begins performances in March 2017, at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre (205 West 46th Street).  Roald Dahl's CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY has music by Grammy, Emmy and Tony Award winner Marc Shaiman, lyrics by Grammy and Tony Award winners Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman, a book by Artistic Director of Edinburgh’s Royal Lyceum theatre David Greig, choreography by Tony Award nominee and Emmy Award winner Joshua Bergasse, and is directed by three-time Tony Award winner Jack O’Brien.

 

"Christian was the first — and in truth, perhaps the ONLY person I could imagine to create the role of Willy:  his combination of child-like fantasy, edge, mystery, and sheer star power seemed destined for this role,” said director Jack O’Brien. “I confess I prayed a lot!  But this one, at least, was answered!”

 

Roald Dahl's CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY has scenic and costume designs by five-time Tony Award nominee Mark Thompson (One Man, Two Guvnors; A Raisin in the Sun), lighting design by four-time Tony Award nominee Japhy Weideman (Bright Star, The Visit), puppet design by Obie and Drama Desk Award winner Basil Twist (The Pee-Wee Herman Show, The Adams Family), and orchestrations by three-time Tony Award winner Doug Besterman (Aladdin, Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella).    

 

For more than 50 years Roald Dahl's story of CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY has captured imaginations around the world, and now for the first time Broadway audiences are invited to experience Willy Wonka’s delightful and semi-dark chocolate world first-hand.  Willy Wonka, world famous inventor of the Everlasting Gobstopper, has just made an astonishing announcement. His marvelous—and mysterious—factory is opening its gates…to a lucky few. That includes young Charlie Bucket, whose life definitely needs sweetening. He and four other golden ticket winners will embark on a mesmerizing, life-changing journey through Wonka’s world of pure imagination. Get ready for chocolate waterfalls, exquisitely nutty squirrels and the great glass elevator, all to be revealed by Wonka's army of curious Oompa-Loompas. 

 

The Broadway production of Roald Dahl's CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY is produced by Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures (Mark Kaufman), Langley Park Productions (Kevin McCormick) and Neal Street Productions (Sam Mendes, Caro Newling).

 

Follow Roald Dahl's CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY:

Facebook: /CharlieOnBroadway

Twitter: @CharlieOnBway

Instagram: @charlieonbway

Youtube: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

For more information about the Broadway production of Roald Dahl's CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY on Broadway please visit: www.CharlieOnBroadway.com.

 

The Olivier and Evening Standard award-winning London production of Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, directed by Sam Mendes and choreographed by Peter Darling, is one of the West End’s most popular and successful stage musicals and has broken house records at Theatre Royal Drury Lane where it has been seen by over 1.8 million people since it opened in June 2013. Now in its fourth and final year, it currently sits alongside Miss Saigon and 42nd Street in the top three longest-running productions of the last 50 years at the historic venue, one of London’s largest theatres.

 

BIOGRAPHIES

CHRISTIAN BORLE (Willy Wonka) won two Tony Awards for his performances in Something Rotten and Peter and the Starcatcher.  In the fall of 2016 he will star in the Lincoln Center production of Falsettos.  Other Broadway credits include Mary Poppins, Legally Blonde, Spamalot, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Amour, Footloose, and Jesus Christ Superstar. Off-Broadway credits include Sweeney Todd (PBS’ "Live at Lincoln Center"), Angels in America (Signature Theatre), Elegies: A Song Cycle (Lincoln Center), and On The Town and Little Me for City Center Encores!. Television credits include “Smash,” “Masters of Sex,” “The Good Wife,” “Sofia The First,” Disney Junior’s “Lucky Duck,” “The Sound of Music Live!,” and “Peter Pan Live!” Film work includes The Bounty Hunter, Michael Mann’s Blackhat.

 

MARC SHAIMAN (Music/Co-lyricist) wrote the music and, with partner Scott Wittman, co-wrote the lyrics for the musical Hairspray, which won Tony and Olivier Awards for Best Musical and for which the team was awarded a Tony and Grammy Award for their score. They also collaborated on the Broadway musical Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me and, most recently, Best Musical Tony-nominated Catch Me If You Can, for which Marc was also nominated as co-orchestrator. Marc is a five-time Oscar nominee for his work on Sleepless in Seattle, The First Wives Club, Patch Adams, The American President and South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut. Additional film credits include When Harry Met Sally, Beaches, Misery, City Slickers, The Addams Family, A Few Good Men, Sister Act, George of the Jungle and The Bucket List. He is an Emmy Award winner for co-writing Billy Crystal's Oscar medleys, and has most recently been an Emmy, Grammy and Golden Globe nominee for the original songs he co-wrote with Scott Wittman for the television show “Smash.” Additional Grammy and Emmy nominations have resulted from his collaborations with Bette Midler and Harry Connick Jr (with whom he appeared at the Royal Albert Hall). Marc's Prop 8: The Musical can be seen at FunnyOrDie.com.

 

SCOTT WITTMAN (Co-lyricist) co-wrote (with Marc Shaiman) the lyrics for the Tony, Grammy and Olivier-winning musical Hairspray. He also served as an executive producer on the hit film starring John Travolta.  They teamed up again on Broadway for Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me, which he also directed, and Catch Me If You Can, which received a Tony nomination for Best Musical.  For their original songs on NBC's musical drama “Smash,” Scott and Marc were nominated for an Emmy, Grammy and a Golden Globe Award. On “Smash” they have composed songs for Jennifer Hudson, Uma Thurman, Bernadette Peters and Liza Minnelli. Their original score for the Marilyn Monroe musical Bombshell was released on Sony Records.  For Patti LuPone, Scott has created and directed two Broadway shows, three recordings and two sold-out Carnegie Hall concerts. He also directed Patti LuPone in her one-woman show at Donmar Warehouse.

 

DAVID GREIG (Book). His award-winning work includes The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart (Tron, National Theatre of Scotland), Midsummer (Traverse, Soho and Tricycle), Dunsinane (RSC at Hampstead and National Theatre of Scotland), Damascus (Traverse and Tricycle), Outlying Islands (Traverse and Royal Court), The American Pilot (RSC), Pyrenees (Paines Plough), The Cosmonaut's Last Message to the Woman He Once Loved in the Former Soviet Union (Donmar Warehouse and Paines Plough) and The Architect and Europe (Traverse). Adaptations include Creditors (Donmar Warehouse), The Bacchae (Edinburgh International Festival), Tintin in Tibet (Barbican, Playhouse and UK tour), When the Bulbul Stopped Singing (Traverse), Caligula (Donmar Warehouse) and Peter Pan (National Theatre of Scotland, Traverse and Barbican). Work for children and young people includes The Monster in the Hall (TAG), Yellow Moon (TAG), Gobbo (National Theatre of Scotland) and Dr Korczcak's Example (TAG).

 

JACK O’BRIEN (Director) has won 3 Tony Awards for his direction of Hairspray, Henry IV and The Coast of Utopia.  His other Broadway credits include It’s Only A Play, Macbeth, The Nance, Dead Accounts, Catch Me If You Can, Impressionism, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Tony nomination), Imaginary Friends, The Invention of Love (Tony nomination and Drama Desk winner), The Full Monty (Tony nomination), More to Love, Getting Away With Murder, The Little Foxes, Damn Yankees, Two Shakespearean Actors (Tony nomination), and Porgy and Bess (Tony nomination).  Off-Broadway credits include Pride’s Crossing and Hapgood (Lucille Lortel Award).  Other productions include Il Trittico at the Metropolitan Opera, Guys and Dolls at Carnegie Hall, Much Ado About Nothing for The Public’s Shakespeare in the Park, and Love Never Dies and Hairspray (Olivier nomination) in London.  Mr. O’Brien was the Artistic Director of the Old Globe Theatre from 1981 till 2007.  He has directed six movies for PBS’s “American Playhouse.”  His book, Jack Be Nimble, is published by Farrar, Strauss and Giroux.

 

JOSHUA BERGASSE (Choreographer) won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Choreography for NBC's "Smash."   Joshua’s New York theatre credits include On The Town (Tony nomination); Gigi; Little Me and It's A Bird..It's a Plane..It's Superman! (City Center Encores!); Guys & Dolls and The Sound of Music (Carnegie Hall); and Off-Broadway’s The Bomb-itty of Errors, Captain Louie and Cagney.  Additional theater credits include Up Here (La Jolla Playhouse), Fame the Musical (tour); Bull Durham (Alliance Theatre - Suzi Bass Nomination); Nerds (Philadelphia Theatre Company - Barrymore nomination); Secondhand Lions (Fifth Avenue Theatre); West Side Story (Stratford Festival); On The Town, Guys & Dolls, Carousel and The World Goes 'Round (Barrington Stage). Also for television, Bergasse choreographed for FOX's "So You Think You Can Dance." Most recently, Josh choreographed “Sinatra: Voice for a Century” for PBS’s Live From Lincoln Center.

 

MARK THOMPSON (Set/Costume Design) Designs include: Mamma Mia! (worldwide), Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (worldwide), Doctor Dolittle (London), Bombay Dreams (London and Broadway), Art (worldwide), The Children's Hour (London), The Lady in the Van (London), La Bête (London and Broadway), God of Carnage (London and Broadway) and Funny Girl (Chichester Festival Theatre). For the NT: One Man, Two Guvnors (also West End and Broadway), London Assurance, She Stoops to Conquer, England People Very Nice, What the Butler Saw, The Rose Tattoo, The Madness of George III, The Day the Earth Stood Still, The Alchemist, The Duchess of Malfi, Life x 3, Arcadia, Once in a Lifetime, Henry IV Parts I & II and The Wind in the Willows. For the Donmar Warehouse: The Blue Room (also Broadway), Company (also Albery), The Front Page and Uncle Vanya/Twelfth Night (costumes only). For the Royal Court: Tribes, Birthday, Mouth to Mouth, Hysteria, The Kitchen and Six Degrees of Separation. For the Almeida: Rope, Betrayal and Party Time. For the RSC: The Unexpected Man, Measure for Measure, Hamlet, The Wizard of Oz, Much Ado About Nothing and The Comedy of Errors.  Opera includes: The Mikado (Lyric), Macbeth and The Queen of Spades (Met), Peter Grimes (Opera North), Montag aus Licht (La Scala), Hansel and Gretel (Sydney Opera House) and Carmen (L'Opera Comique, Paris).  Film includes: costume design for The Madness of King George.  Mark is the winner of four Olivier Awards and two Critics' Circle Awards. He has been nominated for five Tony Awards. Roald Dahl's CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY was awarded the 2014 Olivier Award for Best Costume.

 

JAPHY WEIDEMAN (Lighting Design). Broadway: Bright Star, The Visit (Tony Nom), The Nance (Tony Nom), Of Mice and Men (Tony Nom), Airline Highway (Tony Nom), Sylvia, Old Times, The Heidi Chronicles, Macbeth (Drama

Desk Nom), Cyrano de Bergerac, and The Snow Geese. Off-Broadway: Lincoln Center Theatre, The Public Theatre, NYTW, Second Stage, Playwrights Horizons, MTC, MCC, LAByrinth, and The Vineyard. Opera: Don Giovanni, Life is a Dream (Santa Fe Opera), Manchurian Candidate, Doubt (Minnesota Opera). International: West End, Royal Shakespeare Co (Stratford), La Scala (Milan), Nederlands Opera (Amsterdam), Edinburgh International Festival.

 

BASIL TWIST (Puppet Design) is a third generation puppeteer and the sole American to graduate from the École Supérieure Nationale des Arts de la Marionnette in Charleville-Mezieres, France. Basil’s work was first spotlighted in New York by “The Jim Henson International Festival of Puppetry” with his award winning The Araneidae Show, followed by the critically praised and multiple award winning Symphonie Fantastique, Petrushka, Master Peter’s Puppet Show, Dogugaeshi, La Bella Dormente Nel Bosco, Behind the Lid and Arias With a Twist.  On Broadway he created and staged the puppetry in The Addams Family for which he won a Drama Desk Award and staged the puppetry for the beloved Pee-Wee Herman Show. He has received an Obie, a Drama Desk Award, five UNIMA Awards, two Bessie Awards, a New York Innovative Theatre Award, a Henry Hewes Award, a Guggenheim, a USA Artists fellowship and was most recently awarded a Doris Duke Performing Artist Award. He is the director of the Dream Music Puppetry Program at HERE in New York.

 

DOUG BESTERMAN (Orchestrations) Doug is the recipient of three Tony Awards for his orchestrations for Fosse, Thoroughly Modern Millie and The Producers. Broadway: Aladdin, Rocky, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Bullets Over Broadway, On a Clear Day..., Elf, Sister Act, How to Succeed..., Young Frankenstein, Tarzan, Dracula, Seussical, The Music Man, King David, Big, Damn Yankees and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. International: Rocky (Hamburg), Guys and Dolls (London) and Der Schuh des Manitu (Berlin). Other productions: Flashdance (US tour), Carrie (New York), Roman Holiday (Minneapolis), Calvin Berger (New Jersey), Minsky's (Los Angeles), An American in Paris (Houston) and the ballets Take Five - More or Less, But Not for Me, Double Feature, and Frankie and Johnny...and Rose for choreographer Susan Stroman.  Film and television includes: Nine, The Producers, Chicago, Captain America, Mulan, Anastasia, Pocahontas, Lincoln, Cinderella, Annie, Geppetto, South Pacific, Superstar and Scrubs. Doug has written arrangements for Christine Andreas, Toni Braxton, Beyoncé Knowles, Barry Manilow, Mandy Patinkin, Barbra Streisand and the Boston Pops Orchestra.

 

WARNER BROS. THEATRE VENTURES (Producer). Continuing Warner Bros.’ mission of presenting the finest entertainment across all media and platforms to global audiences, Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures (WBThV) is the company’s live stage play division, which develops and produces first-class musicals and other stage productions.  With access to Warner Bros.’ vast library of iconic film and television properties, as well as extensive relationships with top theatrical talent, WBThV is well-positioned as a dynamic and resourceful creative entity in the live theater arena.  Currently represented by the London production of Roald Dahl's CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY now in its fourth and final smash years at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, WBThV is also co-producing the Tony and Olivier Award winning Best Play The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time on Broadway.  Recently WBThV was represented by the critically acclaimed Broadway production of Oscar-winner William Goldman’s adaptation of Misery directed by Will Frears, starring Bruce Willis and Laurie Metcalf. As part of its ongoing development activities, WBThV is constantly exploring production opportunities, working in various capacities with award-winning theater, film and television producers.  The division’s roster of upcoming projects includes dramas, comedies and musicals based on both library titles and original concepts. WBThV has previously been represented on Broadway with the Tony Award-winning musical The Bridges of Madison County as well as the holiday hit Elf, which broke box office records at the Al Hirschfield Theatre during its initial run. The division also co-produced the original musical Secondhand Lions at Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre and is readying productions of Dave, 17 Again, Beetlejuice and Dog Day Afternoon for the stage. WBThV also licenses third-party stage rights to the various properties held within the studio’s vast media library, including such productions as Hairspray, The Bodyguard, Top Hat, Singin’ in the Rain, The Wizard of Oz, The Color Purple, 42nd Street and Honeymoon in Vegas, Gigi, Doctor Zhivago, as well as the upcoming Diner.

 

LANGLEY PARK PRODUCTIONS (Producer). Kevin McCormick is President of Langley Park Productions, a studio-based production company at Warner Bros.  McCormick recently produced the romantic drama The Lucky One, starring Zac Efron, and the 2011 comedy Arthur, starring Russell Brand and Helen Mirren.  He was also a producer on The Gangster Squad, starring Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone.  Previously, McCormick was President of Production at Warner Bros. Pictures.  Assuming that post in January 2008, he had day-to-day oversight of, and responsibility for, Warner Bros. Pictures’ creative team and the movies produced by the company, including such award-winning and critically acclaimed films as Gran Torino; The Dark Knight, which broke box office records worldwide and is currently the third-highest-grossing film of all time, domestically; The Hangover, which is, domestically, the highest grossing R-rated comedy of all time; and the worldwide hit Sherlock Holmes.  Among the studio’s other films during his tenure were Get Smart, the top-grossing Harry Potter franchise, The Informant!, Watchmen and Terminator Salvation.  In addition, he oversaw the division’s London office and reported directly to Jeff Robinov, President, Warner Bros. Pictures Group.  McCormick joined Warner Bros. Pictures in 1999 as Executive Vice President, Production, overseeing such notable films as Tim Burton’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Michael Clayton, Blood Diamond, The Last Samurai, Matchstick Men, Insomnia, Syriana, and Burton’s Corpse Bride and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  McCormick began his career as an executive producer on the film Saturday Night Fever.

 

NEAL STREET PRODUCTIONS (Producer) was formed in 2003 by Sam Mendes, Pippa Harris and Caro Newling to produce film, television and theatre, with Nicolas Brown joining as fourth director in the company’s tenth year. In 2015 Neal Street moved under the umbrella of parent company, All3Media. Previously Sam Mendes and Caro Newling established and ran the Donmar Warehouse 1992-2002.  Recent theatre includes:  Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Marc Shaiman, Scott Wittman, David Grieg, produced with Warner Brothers Theatre Ventures, world premiere Theatre Royal Drury Lane May 2013, opening Broadway 2017.  Also Shrek The Musical by Jeanine Tesori and David Lindsay-Abaire produced with DreamWorks Animation (Broadway 2008, Theatre Royal, Drury Lane 2011), touring nationwide from July 2014 – 2016.  The Bridge Project, a three-year transatlantic venture with the Old Vic/Brooklyn Academy of Music presenting five classic plays for worldwide stages across fifteen international cities, directed by Sam Mendes: The Winter’s Tale/The Cherry Orchard with Simon Russell Beale and Rebecca Hall, The Tempest/As You Like It with Stephen Dillane and Juliet Rylance, Richard III with Kevin Spacey.  Previously: Three Days of Rain with James McAvoy, The Vertical Hour with Julianne Moore and Bill Nighy, The Painkiller with Kenneth Branagh and Rob Brydon, and world/ UK premieres of The House of Special Purpose by Heidi Thomas, All About My Mother by Sam Adamson, The Hound of the Baskervilles by Steve Canny and Peepolykus, Days of Wine and Roses new version by Owen McCafferty, Anna in the Tropics by Nilo Cruz and Fuddy Meers by David Lindsay-Abaire. West End/Broadway transfers include: Merrily We Roll Along (Menier Chocolate Factory), South Downs/The Browning Version, Enron (Chichester Festival Theatre), Hamlet, Mary Stuart and Red (Donmar Warehouse), Sunday in the Park with George, and forthcoming This House by James Graham in a co-production with NT, CFT, Headlong.  Film and television include: Heidi Thomas’ series “Call the Midwife,” John Logan’s series “Penny Dreadful,” “Stuart A Life Backwards,” Starter for Ten, Things We Lost in the Fire, Jarhead, Revolutionary Road, Away We Go, Blood and “The Hollow Crown” for BBC Two featuring “Richard II” (dir Rupert Goold), “Henry IV Part 1 & Part 2” (dir Richard Eyre),  “Henry V” (dir Thea Sharrock) , and forthcoming “Henry VI parts 1 and 2”, “Richard III”  (dir Dominic Cooke).

 

ABOUT ROALD DAHL AND HIS LEGACY

Roald Dahl was a spy, ace fighter-pilot, chocolate historian and medical inventor. He was also the author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, The BFG and many more brilliant stories. He remains the World’s No.1 storyteller. Born in Cardiff of Norwegian descent, Roald Dahl (1916–1990) joined the RAF at the age of 23 and began writing, initially for adults, after being injured in a plane crash during WW2. Sitting in a hut at the bottom of his garden, surrounded by odd bits and pieces such as a suitcase (used as a footrest), his own hipbone (which he’d had replaced) and a heavy ball of metal foil (made from years’ worth of chocolate wrappers), he went on to write some of the world’s best-loved children’s stories. His first children’s story, James and the Giant Peach, published in 1961, was a hit and every subsequent book became a best-seller. Today, his stories are available in 58 languages and, by a conservative estimate, he has sold more than 200 million books. Many of these stories have also been adapted for stage and screen, including the 1971 film classic Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Wes Anderson’s acclaimed Fantastic Mr Fox, and the multi-award winning Matilda The Musical from the RSC with music by Tim Minchin. The next Roald Dahl story to hit the big screen will be Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of The BFG, which is set for release in July 2016. 2016 marks Roald Dahl’s centenary. Entitled Roald Dahl 100, 2016 marks 100 years since the birth of Roald Dahl – the world’s number one storyteller. There will be celebrations for Roald Dahl 100 throughout the US in 2016, delivering a year packed with gloriumptious treats and surprises for everyone.  We believe in doing good things. That’s why ten percent of all Roald Dahl income* goes to our charity partners. We have supported causes including: specialist children’s nurses, grants for families in need, and educational outreach programmes. Find out more at roalddahl.com.  The Roald Dahl Charitable Trust is a registered UK charity (no. 1119330). * All author payments and royalty income net of third party commissions. www.roalddahl.com

 

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