Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Broadway Cast Recording Sony Masterworks Broadway 5 Stars Order a Copy from Amazon.co.uk I was a HUGE fan of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory when it opened at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane with a score by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman. Audiences were presented with a theatrical extravaganza, but what really struck me was the fabulous score which used only one song from the Gene Wilder film. Shaiman and Wittman had pulled off the near impossible by channelling the Wonka zeitgeist, creating new music for Charlie of the same calibre and Bricusse and Newley’s original film score. I was therefore interested to hear that for the Broadway production changes were to be made. More song moments from the film have been integrated, numbers from the London score cut (luckily the London cast album exists!) and new songs written. Christian Borle takes over the spoon … Read more
The book is laid out like a sorta-score. There is an Overture, large chapters which form ‘the key changes of (Bricusse’s) life’ – from A Minor to G Undiminished and a Coda. The sense of musicality is all pervading, as it should be for the man responsible for tunes such as Goldfinger, The Candy Man, Feeling Good and Talk To The Animals. As Elton John puts it in one of 6 Superstar forewords: “Anyone who has written What Kind Of Fool Am I? and My Old Man’s A Dustman should be revered forever.”
Bricusse’s output is so prodigious and so tuneful that only the tone deaf would not find lots of numbers here satisfying and delicious. Many will find something to enjoy in every song, and certainly Musical Director, Michael England, does a terrific job accompanying the singers with a six piece band (including England on piano) that does real justice to England’s arrangements. As ever, there could have been more strings to swell the underscoring, but that is a small quibble.