5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: The New Musica;, 9 Oct. 2013
When I heard that Shaiman and Wittman were penning a new original score for Roald Dahl's deliciously delightful story of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, I have to say, I squealed with delight! This pair having devised the utterly divine scores of Hairspray and Catch Me If You Can are no strangers to catchy, memorable melodies! However, when I read the reviews for the London Production of Charlie, they all picked up one crucial point:
'Marc Shaiman's otherwise unmemorable score, most songs having more style than substance, with words hard to decipher.'
'What this Charlie and the Chocolate Factory also lacks is a memorable soundtrack. The dozen-odd collection of new songs, written by the Broadway hit factory Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, mostly missed the mark.'
Hmmmmmmmmm, I said to my self. I needed to listen to this score ASAP. So, I watched the videos on YouTube and on the official Charlie website. For the entire week later, I was singing and humming 'Don't Ya Pinch Me, Charlie' - one of the best numbers from the show.When I finally got hold of the cast album, I sat myself in a quiet room and listened to them all from start to finish, with no interruptions. Here was my verdict:
Obviously, the creative team have tried to modernise the story - giving it a 21st century slant. This is evident in the music - Shaiman never fails to use as many genres and styles in his scores and to great effect! Ranging from RNB for Violet, Electronica for Mike and a soft shoe number for the Grandparents. Yes, they may not seem catchy at first and not grab you like they should, but in the end, they do grow on you!
My personal favourites have to be The Amazing Fantastical History of Willy Wonka (the kickline towards the end is so cheesy but I love it so much and the humour from Grandma Georgina cracks me up everytime), Don't Ya Pinch Me Charlie (witty lyrics and a great melody), It Must Be Believed To Be Seen (some great distinctive rhythms used) and A Little Me (bizarre lyrics but melodic tune).
Also, I do think a special mention has to go to Doug Besterman who expertly wrote the orchestrations for the production - they are not only witty and inventive but at the same time awe-inspiring running alongside the theme of hope and expectation from the heart of the story. I even thought I heard a kazzoo or two in one of the numbers?! Bravo!
Buy it! Have a listen! Enjoy it!