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Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory: West End
Photographer Unknown

Celebrating its 45th anniversary, the Mel Stuart-directed fantasy-musical film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory continues to delight cineastes and musical theatre enthusiasts alike. Now, the beloved Willy Wonka franchise will make its U.S. premiere on the Great White Way in 2017 with a diverse cast. Multi-ethnic young actors are being asked to audition.

According to a NYC EPA audition call; casting agents are seeking a young African-American actress for the coveted role of Violet Beauregard, as well as an older African-American actor for the role of Mr. Beauregard for a Developmental Lab of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory before it then transfer to a Broadway production in Late 2016 / Early 2017. Auditions have been taking place over the course of the summer.

Here’s the cast breakdown:

VIOLET BEAUREGARD

Short, youthful ADULT female to play a 9-12-year-old girl. African-American. While she’s physically tiny, she has a huge pop/R&B voice, as well as amazing hip-hop dance skills. Confident, forward, and full of attitude. Great singer. PRINCIPAL

MR. BEAUREGARD

Male, 30s-40s. African-American. Violet’s ineffectual father. Ignores his back-talking, insult-hurling daughter. Great dancer with a soul/pop/R&B voice. Beat-boxing skills a plus. PRINCIPAL

In collaboration with Warner Bros. Theatrical Ventures, Neal Street Productions and Kevin McCormick, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory made its world premiere at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in London’s West End on June 25, 2013, under the direction of Sam Mendes. Tony winner Douglas Hodge was nominated for the prestigious Laurence Olivier Award for his performance as Willy Wonka.

When it debuts on Broadway next year with some changes under the direction of Jack O’Brien, two-time Tony winner Christian Borle (Peter and the Starcatcher, Something Rotten!, “Smash”) will star in the lead role. With the upcoming Broadway production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the new show tunes by songwriting duo Marc Shaiman (Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit, South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut) and Scott Wittman (Hairspray, “Smash”) will pay homage to the Leslie Bricusse/Anthony Newley songs written for the 1971 film.

That film, based on the popular 1964 Roald Dahl children’s book, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, was released on June 30, 1971, where it earned an estimated $4 million at the box office. Having developed a cult following of sorts, the film currently holds an 89 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and was the source of inspiration for a 2005 Tim Burton-directed reboot. Comic legend Gene Wilder won the hearts and minds of critics and moviegoers alike, and in 1972, Wilder was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for his performance as the eccentric chocolatier Willy Wonka.

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