Creating a hit musical which appeals to family audiences is kind of Broadway's holy grail — think current long-running shows, like The Lion King and Wicked, which have run for decades, or earlier shows like Cats and Annie. Critics don't always give these shows good reviews, but that doesn't seem to matter much. Now, two new musicals are aiming to get the kid stamp of approval.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has already announced plans for a national tour. (Joan Marcus/Polk & Co.)
On a recent Friday evening families poured onto 46th Street after a performance of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Taylor Ponte, a tween from Manhattan, offered her thoughts: "I liked it a lot. And I liked the part where she blew up like a balloon. I liked all of it."
This kind of reaction is why Warner Bros., which is producing the show, brought it to Broadway. The adaptation of Roald Dahl's beloved children's book could be something of a golden ticket for them — creating a hit which runs for years, goes on tours in the U.S. and overseas, and sells tons of merchandise. But some of the critics weren't impressed.