What a peculiar piece of confectionary is the new musical adaptation of Roald Dahl’s “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” which opened at the Lunt-Fontanne on Sunday night. Allegedly, the musical was significantly re-worked for Broadway audiences after its British debut, but in the current production flavors are missing and oddly combined, running the risk of pleasing neither children nor grown-ups.
This piece is a star vehicle for the mega-talented Christian Borle who does everything asked of him here and more. He plays a mercurial protagonist whose motives we are not meant to fully understand or rely on. We do, however, need to be entranced by our Pied Piper, and despite Borle’s considerable gifts, his charisma does not fully animate this Willy Wonka.