MIDTOWN, Manhattan- The wonderful and wacky world of Willy Wonka is bringing pure imagination to Broadway in the new musical, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, based on the book by Roald Dahl. "There is something daunting about stepping into this role because I’m a huge Gene Wilder fan,” Christian Borle said. Concocting a new take on the charismatic and kooky character is two-time Tony Award winner, Christian Borle. “I can officially go on the record and say Willy Wonka will not be bald so have no fear!” he laughed.
Going on this timeless and tasty adventure is, of course, Charlie. In this stage version, he is played by three different young actors, all, making their Broadway debuts. “It’s life changing and it’s so fun to start in such a big role,” Ryan Foust said. “I’ll tell you a secret, we get to eat candy on stage like three times, it’s like the best show ever,” Ryan Sell added. “Wait until you see it, it’s going to be great!” Jake Ryan Flynn beamed.
And the golden ticket to this show’s style is its eclectic ensemble. “I’m bringing Jackie Hoffman neurosis to an already nervous character,” Jackie Hoffman, who plays Mrs. Teavee, quipped. “[My character is] totally bratty and totally competitive," Trista Dollison, who plays Violet Beauregarde. "I don’t share those exact characteristics in real life, but I do feel like I can channel her, I can find her.”
They’re kidding, of course, but you can expect to see some magical and mind-boggling props and sets. “There will be so many of those moments of people going up and saying how did you do this, how did you do that but I don’t ever want to ruin it for someone,” F. Michael Haynie, who plays Augustus Gloop said.
And in a show all about treats, we had to know what satisfies their sweet tooth. "I’m a Mike n Ike’s man myself," Borle said. “I guess a Twix bar," Hofman added. “Charleston Chew," Flynn smiled. "I like sweet tarts," Foust said. "I'm all about white chocolate Kit-Kats," Sell beamed.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory begins previews tonight at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre and officially opens on April 23rd.
Produced by: Kim Pestalozzi