New York | 2h 30m | Already closed

Charlie and The Chocolate Factory (Broadway)

From 52 critic and 896 member reviews
Members say: Entertaining, Funny, Delightful, Disappointing, Clever

About the show

Two-time Tony winner Christian Borle stars as magical candy master Willy Wonka in the new Broadway musical adaptation of Roald Dahl's beloved children's book.  More…

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. It’s a world of pure imagination. Directed by three-time Tony-winning director Jack O'Brien, with new tunes by Tony-winning songwriters Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman of 'Hairspray' fame alongside classic songs from the 1971 movie.

2h 30m | Already closed | Lunt-Fontanne Theatre (Midtown W)

Peconic Public Broadcasting

"We finally have a terrific show for kids under 12 and, in fact, have a marvelous show for anyone still living...Mr. Borle is a total whirlwind and the kids will adore him. He’s on stage about 95% of the time and how he can catch his breath is hard to imagine...So take your kids or any children for that matter and go see 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.' I guarantee they and you will have a ball." Full Review

Broadway Showbiz

"The stellar cast and incredible choreography do not disappoint. The Oompa Loompa scenes were so funny and creative they had me roaring with laughter. It was hilarious…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…A very entertaining night at the theater if you can let yourself go and let your inner child out for the night." Full Review

Musical Theater Review

"A family-sized, mouth-watering mélange of eccentric perversity and tenderhearted pleasure...Act I seems to dawdle quite a bit...Still, the opening act has its virtues. Among them is the presence of one of Broadway’s most distinctively appealing leading men playing Wonka, Christian Borle...It’s in Act II that the dazzle quotient soars. Charlie’s competitors are disposed of in deliciously sadistic ways, and the secrets of Willy Wonka’s candy making are revealed." Full Review

Front Row Center

"This adaptation, with just a few blips, rises to the occasion...Act I at moments lacks vitality, as if the muted colors have at times muted the action. Act II fares better, with dazzling color and a faster pace...A marvel of theatricality, with a great voice and a gift for physical comedy, Borle gives an electric performance of unflagging energy...O’Brien has directed an eccentric, entertaining, and at times dazzling production of a timeless story audiences will take to heart." Full Review

The Stage (UK)

“With a new director, plus new, and notably less expensive, designs and an extensively revised book and score, it moves faster and establishes its relationships far better…Charlie's obnoxious fellow claimants for Wonka’s factory tour are now played by adult actors, not kids; the Oompa Loompas are newly kitted out in body suits from which the actors' own heads pop out, while the new and less embellished design allows the audience to make its own imaginative leaps.” Full Review

Broadway Blog

“Although not a fan of Dahl's high-calorie story even I found some of it satisfying and delicious…While no show could compete with Hollywood's special effects, there's plenty of cleverness displayed in the gimmicky scenery…and ingenious staging. The child-unfriendly ways that punish the plot's entitled brats are a hoot, and even queasy stomachs will likely ingest such comic images as people bursting into purple goop or dismembered by squirrels.” Full Review

Front Mezz Junkies

"This musical is as sweet and charming as can be, with a gleefully dose of wickedness that isn’t too dark or deadly...The production whistles along quite competently hitting all the right notes of wonder, sweetness, and more importantly, devilishness when the recipe starts feeling a bit too sweet...I can’t say this musical is a revelation in any way, and at times the story lacked a strong drive forward...I was never bored, but I can’t say I was fully engaged with my heart or my soul." Full Review


"A property this famous and pre-branded doesn’t need critical praise to thrive—that is, as long as it has coherence, theatrical inventiveness, and charm of its own. I felt sure this show had all of that...It is a theatrical achievement of sorts—smart, propulsive, engaging and punctuated with a dozen-plus bouncy new songs...I suppose it’s true that none of this is all that profound. Nevertheless, the validation of intelligence, language, and wonder does have some value." Full Review

Theater In The Now

"This musical confection spins a flavor that can only be described as modern...If you're looking to throw your cares away and just have fun, there's nothing more tantalizing...But if a well-structured, smartly planned musical is what you seek, this show swings for the fences and strikes out often...The new music is vibrant, modern, and earworm-worthy...The libretto was overstuffed...This show was all about the visuals, treading the fine line of homage and originality." Full Review

Drama Queen NYC

“Shaiman’s music is charming – full of tasty licks as usual...It is most unfortunate that muddy sound design often obscures those witty lyrics. Christian Borle portrays Wonka with his usual élan, with somewhat more humanity than previous incarnations. Director Jack O’Brien has presented a smaller-scale production than Sam Mendes on the West End, and while I’m not sure that was the right decision, it’s still sufficiently splashy and vivid. Recommended.” Full Review

The Cultural Critic

"Borle gives a superstar performance...Borle makes his Wonka equal parts deranged, silly, malicious, and sweet. You can’t help but keep your eyes glued to see what he’ll do next...This production does have some problems. The set is minimal...Some of the jokes are immature. Ultimately though, this musical provides an enjoyable night out for the family...'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' has plenty of laughs, some sweet moments, and puts a smile on your face for two hours." Full Review

The Wrap

"I’ve never witnessed such a second-act reversal of fortune...Only in retrospective can you see glimmers of hope in the musical’s desultory first half. Just one song hits the mark...What’s great about Act 2 is that...Borle as Wonka occupies center stage and never lets go...He makes us forget about both Johnny Depp and Gene Wilder. Of course, it’s not all Borle. His Wonka material is good. So, too, are the staging of the multiple deaths by candy overload." Full Review


"It’s goofy, loud and imaginative—superlatively so...It’s not as theatrically inventive as 'Matilda,' and it probably won’t share that show’s canny ability to appeal to adults as well as kids...The supporting cast does well by the Shaiman and Wittman numbers, which fill out the characters with considerable humor...The moments of pleasure for this adult viewer were decidedly scattershot...Grown-ups will serve their purpose as ticket buyers, and their tykes will get the sugar rush." Full Review

Lighting & Sound America

"If it is hardly the best musical on Broadway, it is surely the most improved...The book suffers from the fact that it takes an entire act to get to the chocolate factory...The second act is, quite possibly, the most macabre children's entertainment ever...If 'Charlie' isn't likely to entertain adults looking for a sophisticated Broadway musical, it is probably just the thing for parents looking to take the kids to a show. They aren't likely to notice its less-than-seamless assembly." Full Review

DC Metro Theater Arts

“I found this musical version oddly sweet and gooey, but David Greig’s book I found more Dull than Dahl. As a result, despite star Christian Borle’s game effort to inject charm into the characters of Willie Wonka and the ‘Candy Man,’ the long first act didn’t offer me much to cheer about…The second act improves noticeably for Mr. Borle comes into his own and the Oompa Loompas arrive.” Full Review


"Borle plays Wonka with exhilarating ferocity. Abetted by a compellingly motivated company...Some transfers from film or book to stage work and some don't. Not so sure this time...What has presumably remained intact is the serviceable, if not quite funny enough, book and the sprightly original score...'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' may not be a golden ticket winner in the musical theater sweepstakes but it does win on its own terms by tickling our imagination." Full Review

Out Magazine

"'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' wants very badly to be loved. It restores some elements that were in the original story, while updating it to the present and adding references to hip-hop and tweeting...There’s also animation, large squirrels, and lots of funny business in Act Two, when Borle lets loose with his wryly witty taunting antics. The show has a lot of hard sell, but some rewards, as it lampoons gluttony at Broadway prices." Full Review


“The overall product will likely thrill many, but is mostly cotton candy without the substance or edgy humor of the book and original film…The weakest by far of all the adaptations…There are spectacular production numbers…Director Jack O’Brien and book writer still David Greig have not solved the main problem: The awkward first act…It is truly a shame the people behind the show simply did not come up with fresh ideas to make this a more memorable musical.” Full Review

New Yorker

"The new production feels like the result of late-night script meetings and second-guessing. The artistic choices don’t seem wrong so much as exasperated...The effort to rejigger the story into something new has also opened a few plot holes...Despite its problems, the show is still watchable, in part because Dahl spun his modern fairy tale so nimbly. And it has some real bright spots. There are catchy songs interspersed with the wonderful Bricusse-Newley songs from the 1971 film." Full Review

Entertainment Weekly

"The roles are mostly well played, the book is fine, the songs are serviceable, and the sets are fairly clever, but none of it is—transporting...The best thing about the new production is Christian Borle as Wonka...As good as Borle’s version is, Wilder still owns it. That may not be surprising. But what is is how flat most of the musical feels. From the moment the curtain raises until the moment it finally drops, there’s a sense that something is missing. Something magical. " Full Review

The New York Times

"This big but tentative show doesn’t burst with flavor of any kind, not during its exposition-crammed first act. Only in its second half does the show acquire a distinct taste and it isn’t confectionary...The idea of macabre punishment seems to have acted as a stimulant on the creative faculties of everyone involved as the show turns increasingly surreal...Most gratifying is the transformation of Borle...Willy switches into dissing diva mode with a skip in his step and a fork in his tongue." Full Review

New York Theater

“The overall effect manages to be too obvious and yet too bland...I have nothing especially negative to say about most of the performances, including Borle’s, although nothing especially positive to say about the actors portraying the four insufferable children who won the sought-after golden tickets…Their ends are clearly meant to be clever, but don’t sparkle in the execution…I suspect there are enough moments to make the show at least intermittently enjoyable for adult chaperones.” Full Review

Theater Life

“Neither relevant nor even consistently entertaining, but it does provide the occasional guilty-pleasure shot of sweetness...Unfortunately these are few and far between…This uneven kiddie show takes us on a roller-coaster ride with too many flat stretches…The old tunes remain sources of delight as do a handful of the newer ones. But David Greig’s book misses the strong narrative drive of the original and the cinema versions.” Full Review

Daily Beast

"Why does this production feel too small, too meager, and not magic enough? 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' needs to go big, surely, or not at all. The modesty of this production feels a little lost on the stage...The show is far from a disaster, just far too timid. Borle and Flynn are charming flip sides of the same quirky coin, and as compadres are lovely to watch...There is a critically lacking wonder and magic here—and Charlie and Wonka deserve buckets of both." Full Review


"The musical is first and foremost a test of patience...Only once we reach the factory at last does the musical’s leading man, a sly and off-beat Christian Borle, finally get to take the reins and drive the show with some momentum...Don’t expect grand confectionary spectacle, though; director Jack O’Brien and designer Mark Thompson take the whole 'world of pure imagination' thing pretty literally...Borle is, all the same, a winning ringleader of a somewhat lackluster circus." Full Review

Clever, Delightful, Entertaining, Funny, Great singing

See it if Show was outstanding. Big fan of the classic movie. Sadly the show closed but not before seeing it last October.

Don't see it if Not wanting to have a fun night at Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Delightful, Enchanting, Funny, Great acting, Masterful

See it if You love A Great Broadway show. Filled with so many surprises.Smiled the entire show. Fantastic cast.

Don't see it if There is absolutely no reason not to see it. Wonderful and delightful.

Entertaining, Clever, Funny, Great staging

See it if You want a mix of the original film, the new film, and the book.

Don't see it if You can't handle a little bit of a slow beginning.

Also The oopaloompas are a bit dark. Can possibly scare small children.

Delightful, Great singing, Great acting, Enchanting

See it if You loved the original. The changes made to this were fantastic and the cast was great. It was magic.

Don't see it if You don't like the original story or want to laugh

Clever, Delightful, Enchanting, Entertaining, Exquisite



Hilarious, Great staging, Must see, Entertaining, Delightful

See it if You like the movies. You like the byook. You like Christian Borle. You like musicals that are accepting diversity in the cast. You have kids

Don't see it if You hate the movies or book. You don’t like laughter and good times!

Also Absolutely groundbreaking and a great adaptation from the film! Wonder... Read more Read less

Funny, Entertaining, Delightful, Clever, Great acting

See it if amazing show,I did so the production from london,and New York it is 100% times better.GReat show dont miss it

Don't see it if Yes ,I so

Clever, Delightful, Entertaining, Enchanting, Funny

See it if This show is for kids and adults alike. See it if you love the Charlie and the chocolate factory movies. its a great show

Don't see it if You do not like having hopes and dreams and making them come true

Absorbing, Enchanting, Great staging, Riveting, Funny

See it if You enjoy feel-good, family musicals.


Also Absolutely LOVED this show. Borle was great, but the cast as a whole w... Read more Read less

Funny, Great acting, Entertaining, Enchanting, Must see

See it if You love everything Willy Wonka

Don't see it if You've never read the book or seen the movie

Clever, Entertaining, Enchanting, Funny, Refreshing

See it if If love a fun quirky type of show with amazing singing and dancing. This is a excellent family show.

Don't see it if You are not into the story by Roald Dahl. If you're looking for something more adult oriented

Clever, Entertaining, Great acting, Funny, Magical

See it if You love the story. It takes more from book and a little from the orignal movie. It's amazing. Christan Borle was amazing as well of course.

Don't see it if You don't know what's good and what's bad in life.

Also Do not listen to the bad reviews. They are wrong. This show is very go... Read more Read less

Delightful, Great acting, Great singing, Dont listen to the critics run to see this amazing show

See it if Love Talent on every level. It's a sin that this show didn't sweep the Tony niminations. Starting with Christian Borle who is FLAWLESS

Don't see it if Donald Trump or dead

Delightful, Entertaining, Must see, Funny

See it if You love the story-telling of Roald Dahl. This show is entertaining for adults, as well as children.

Don't see it if You don't have an imagination.

Must see, Masterful, Hilarious, Great acting, Great singing

See it if You love just a great...well written version.....needs a few good laughs.....amazing show. Must see!

Don't see it if You can't not see this !

Entertaining, Enchanting, Delightful

See it if Much better than the so called reviews rated it. The first act was very good. Act 2 was incredible.

Don't see it if You don't like musicals

Clever, Delightful, Entertaining, Funny

See it if You love Christian Borle; you like clever staging; you'll enjoy figuring out how those oompa loompas work

Don't see it if You need it to be exactly like the movie; you don't like adults portraying children

Quirky, Masterful, Indulgent, Funny, Entertaining

See it if you like the original with gene wilder, and later the remake with johnny depp then Im sure you will like this. Fun and very magical show

Don't see it if dont like adults portraying child roles, dont like childish themes

Delightful, Funny, Entertaining, Great acting

See it if you love Willy Wonka

Don't see it if you don't love Willy Wonka

Intelligent, Must see, Funny

See it if Charlie is a must see! The Oompa Loompas stole the show! They put a twist into this Broadway version that works so well!

Don't see it if You do not like remakes of children's stories, but this will make any age enjoy the show!

Delightful, Funny, Great acting

See it if you want to be entertained, young or old

Don't see it if you don't want to be around kids in a theater

Also My review of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: I gave this a 10 and s... Read more Read less

Entertaining, Great singing, Clever

See it if you enjoy great singing. Christian Borle was fantastic! The Oompa-Loompas were absolutely hysterical.

Don't see it if You don't enjoy silliness.

Clever, Entertaining, Great singing, Great staging, Refreshing

See it if You like great sets, top notch singing and a feel good, fun story. Perfect for adults as well as kids.

Don't see it if You want a by the letter adaption of the novel.

Clever, Entertaining, Imaginative, Great staging & costumes, Fun!

See it if you want to see an eccentric & inventive take on the willy wonka story.

Don't see it if you lack imagination and wit

Also this show was so much fun. it was whimsical in an eccentric sort of wa... Read more Read less

Clever, Funny, Quirky, Delightful

See it if You are a fan of the story at all! Or if you are a Christian Borle fan- he was at his comedic best!

Don't see it if You don't like to laugh or use your imagination

Cast & Creatives (51)