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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

4 Oct 2013
4.6 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews

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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Marc Shaiman's (Hairspray the Musical and numerous brilliant film scores)new musical 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' is a bit of a mixed bag. There are moments of brilliance mixed in freely with mediocrity. Personally, I found it to be a very enjoyable listening experience as a whole and I will be listening to it frequently over the coming weeks - but I can understand why the critics have been quite harsh.
On first listen none of the new songs are very memorable. While listening each is good and enjoyable; but after the CD finished they are all easily forgettable - with ONE exception: Pure Imagination, which wasn't even written for this show.

Apparently (if the internet is to be believed) audiences/critics were saying the second half of the show needed something 'more'. Then some bright spark came up with the idea of putting the most popular song from the film version of the story into this production. Does that work? Almost. Pure Imagination is a brilliant song and it fits nicely into this show; but it also highlights how unmemorable the rest of the songs are.

Now, having said that, there is a lot to love in this production. Firstly: the kids are all excellent. There are moments where diction is a problem; but all is forgiven in the face of such incredible talent. Each child is given a moment to shine and they really give their all. Stand-outs are Charlie and Veruca.
There's also a nice blend of music styles in this show (similar to last years brilliant 'Bring it On - The Musical') - used very effectively to accentuate each child's character. So, you get R&B for Violet, Electronica for Mike etc. It's very effective and makes for a more interesting listening experience.

Now, onto Mr. Wonka himself: Douglas Hodge. Mr.
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Format: Audio CD
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!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I loved the show when I saw it and the soundtrack makes it easier to pick out how clever some of the lyrics are. The songs are brilliant and catchy and I don't regret the ridiculous amount of times I've listened to this.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Bought this CD, but found the songs to bland and uninspiring. Can't believe they made a musical based on the original movie and didn't include numbers such as 'the candy man' and 'cheer up Charlie'! Too much new material and only one song from original movie score
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I saw the musical live in London and was slightly disappointed by it. I expected to come away not being able to get a string of catchy songs out of my head. I didn't. The songs are good, they just don't stick in my mind like songs from other musicals have done. The singers are strong, they carry their voices well, but the songs are simply not as stand-out as many of the other musical classics are!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Went to see the musical with my daughter last autumn and got this for her afterwards. She sings along to the songs in her room. Found it to be a bit cheaper here than if I had bought from the theatre shop too...
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Format: Audio CD
My son is 15 and severely autistic. He's been twice to the show so far with 3 more trips booked!!! He LOVES this cd, plays it non stop in the car. The songs are great and I feel I am well and truly primed for my 1st trip with him to the fantastic factory of chocolate :)
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Format: MP3 Download Verified Purchase
Loved this show on stage - and the music is a great reminder of a wonderful evening - would def recommend
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