Could WONKA Be A Broadway Musical? | OPINION

On Screen

Timothee Chalamet | Photo Credit: Jaap Buitendijk/Warner Brothers

Alex Mecklosky
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December 21, 2023 3:00 PM

When I first saw the trailer for Wonka, I'll be honest in saying that I didn't really think it was going to be my cup of tea. I have never really been a fan of the various iterations of "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory." Even as a kid, the idea of a chocolatier offing a bunch of children until he finds one that acts correctly just wasn't something that interested me. So, when I went to my local AMC to see Wonka this past weekend, I really wasn't expecting much. Well, I can now confidently say that Wonka was not only one of my favorite movies of the year, but I also think it may just be the next Broadway hit. 

During the first 20 minutes of watching, I turned to my co-worker and said, “Oh, this is a MUSICAL,” but not just any ordinary musical—a spectacle. I understand why Warner Brothers didn't want to advertise this as a musical to the general public (The only thing that does worse than a remake/prequel is a movie musical). If I had known this was going to be a big splashy musical, I would have been more inclined to go originally. All I could think about was seeing this on stage. The movie itself would need little to no tweaking for being brought to the Broadway. “A Hatful of Dreams” serves as a perfect opening number, and I Want song for Wonka. “You’ve Never Had Chocolate Like This (reprise)” is already an Act 1 closer in every sense of the word. And talk about the spectacle this show could be. The idea of seeing both Noodle and Wonka fly in “For a Moment” or even Wonka walking up the proscenium, akin to Burt in Mary Poppins in “A World of Your Own,” is giving me goosebumps just thinking about it.

Photo: Warner Brothers

Now, who could direct this fictional production? Alex Timbers is the most obvious choice; I would love to see what he does with transforming the theater, but honestly, he might be a bit too on the nose. My pick for director would be Tina Landau. I think the work she did with SpongeBob could translate very well to the whimsical world of Wonka. Someone, get her on the phone. Who would play the title role of Wonka? What are Andrew Barth Feldman and Ethan Slater doing? Either one of them could easily pull off the wackiness and fun needed for the role. Throw in Norm Lewis or Patrick Page as our main villain, Sluggworth, and I assure you, you have yourself a HIT.

Obviously, this is all for fun, and nothing is even slightly confirmed, but Jordan Roth or Sonia Friedman—I am one phone call away if you need any insight or help. I assure you, Wonka is your next Lion King or Wicked. If you are even slightly a fan of musical theatre, I promise you won't be disappointed. Do yourself a favor and go see Wonka.

For tickets, visit our friends at here.

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Alex Mecklosky

As a native New Yorker, Alex has always loved everything involving theatre. With a degree in Theatre and New Media from Marymount Manhattan College, Alex realized that, since he was not talented enough to be on Broadway, the next best thing would be to write about it!