Friday, May 19, 2017

I saw "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory"


Why I haven't been posting blogs: I am taking a class and working on improving this website. The class meets twice a week and has actual homework and requires me to give up two entire afternoons and their adjacent whole evenings every week and, oh,  also there is the extra time spent dreading leaving, seconds blown complaining about leaving, minutes frittered away leaving, hours squandered riding the train, and stretches wasted panicking about having only half of my homework done. 

What I saw: "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," a new Broadway musical, with some songs from the first movie (but not all), at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, 205 West 46th Street in Manhattan.

What I did beforehand: pilates, chased down a $289 error while balancing the checkbook, baked the bread dough I made the night before, met with a tree guy in the drenching rain, riding lesson, drove to S's new house, took the inaugural shower in my friend's new guest bathroom, got dressed, talked to Radar. 


What I wore: Chinese-made Australian boots, James jeans black micro-cords, Danner belt, Eileen Fisher brown jersey go-to top, mushroom-colored cardigan with fringe, the Indian scarf from the gift shop of the Folk Art museum, black parka 

Who went with me: S., her husband, their two kids and au pair.

How I got tickets: S.

Why I saw this show: all the nights in 4th grade I spent when I couldn't sleep, and didn’t stop reading until Charlie got his golden ticket; being able to sing all the words to all the songs in the original movie; knowing someone with kids who was going. 


Where I sat: front row, second mezzanine, between S. and her younger child L.

Things that were good: spending an evening with my friend S. and her family. 

Things that were sad: Augustus Gloop is still a strange, fat, hungry, carnivorous German, but other characters have been “updated” to include some Heroes of the Internet and a Russian mobster/billionaire. This remake didn't have time for my favorite song, Veruca Salt's "I want it now." L. was upset that two of the bad children seemed to have been killed (one exploded, the other torn into five pieces). I have to say that I enjoyed my friends' company more than the show. 

Things that were funny/not funny: Grandpa George's jokes about wishing he was dead, the (unintentionally) comically undersized sets (think Spinal Tap's Stone Henge), my laughably sincere hope that the Oompa-Loompas will be the last of the tiny-yet-jolly enslaved people portrayed in children’s literature (no longer orange-skinned in this production); grade A performers with a C+ script.

Something I ate: Shake Shack with S.'s fam.

What it is: proof that this children's book classic should not be remade anymore. People should read the book, watch the original movie and leave it at that. 

Who should see it: unintelligible to anyone who hasn't seen the movie(s) and/or read Roald Dahl's classic children's book. 


What I saw on the way home: a distracting, decorative throw pillow on the side of the road.

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