Credit Sara Krulwich/The New York Times
Willy Wonka says his Gobstoppers last forever. “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” lasted on Broadway for less than a year.
The musical will close on Jan. 14 after 305 performances, its producers announced Wednesday.
The show arrived from London in April with a new creative team, script, set design and song list, and high expectations from Warner Bros., one of just three backers of the show. The London production, staged by Sam Mendes, had received mixed reviews upon opening in 2013 but enjoyed a strong four-year run.
The Broadway production, at the Lunt-Fontanne Theater, was directed by Jack O’Brien and starred Christian Borle, a two-time Tony winner, as Willy Wonka, alongside a group of actors (most of them adults) playing the sweet-toothed, Golden Ticket-winning children. The musical started strongly at the box office, with grosses routinely hitting $1 million in the first four months of the run. But ticket sales sloughed off in the midst of a crowded theater season, bottoming out at $558,636 the week of Oct. 1. A representative said the show did not recoup its capitalization.
Tepid reviews likely didn’t help. “Only in its second half does the show acquire a distinct taste, and it definitely isn’t confectionary,” Ben Brantley wrote for The Times. The show received no Tony nominations.
The producers announced that a national tour of the production will launch in September 2018, with plans in the works for an international tour starting in Australia. Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures will turn its attention to several more movie adaptations planned for Broadway, including “Beetlejuice” and “A Star Is Born.”