Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (musical)

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Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Chittychitty.jpg
Poster for original Broadway production
Music
Lyrics
  • Robert B. Sherman
  • Richard M. Sherman
BookJeremy Sams
Basis
PremiereApril 16, 2002: London Palladium
Productions
  • 2002 West End
  • 2005 Broadway
  • 2005 national UK tour
  • 2007 Singapore
  • 2008/09 national US tour
  • 2009 national UK tour
  • 2012/13 Australian national tour
  • 2014 Munich
  • 2015/16 national UK tour

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is a musical with music and lyrics written by Richard and Robert Sherman and a book by Jeremy Sams. It is based on the 1968 film of the same name written by Roald Dahl, Ken Hughes, and Richard Maibaum, which in turn is based on the book of the same name by Ian Fleming. The show premiered at the London Palladium on April 16, 2002, directed by Adrian Noble before opening on Broadway in 2005.

Productions[edit]

Original London production (2002–2005)[edit]

The musical premiered in the West End at the London Palladium on April 16, 2002, with six new songs by the Sherman Brothers who wrote the original Academy Award-nominated title and song score as well. The West End production was directed by Adrian Noble (at the time the artistic director of the Royal Shakespeare Company) with musical staging and choreography by Gillian Lynne and featured Michael Ball (Caractacus Potts), Emma Williams (Truly Scrumptious), Anton Rodgers (Grandpa Potts), George Gillies (Jeremy), Carrie Fletcher (Jemima) and Graham Hoadly (The Commentator). Closing in September 2005, it was the longest running show ever at the London Palladium, taking in over £70 million in its three and a half year run.[1] The Palladium's famous revolving stage (as seen on Sunday Night at the London Palladium) was entirely taken out to accommodate the technology and storage space for the flying Chitty car, identified by Guinness World Records as the most-expensive stage prop, costing £750,000.[citation needed]

Original Broadway production (2005)[edit]

The Broadway production opened on April 28, 2005, at the Lyric Theatre (then the Hilton Theatre), garnering good reviews only for the lavish sets. Ben Brantley in The New York Times noted that the show "naggingly recalls the cold, futurist milieus of movies like 'Modern Times' and 'Metropolis,' in which machines rule the universe" and featured songs that sounded "not unlike what you might hear in sing-along hour in a pre-K class".[2] The production was again directed by Adrian Noble with choreography by Gillian Lynne and starred Raúl Esparza (Caractacus Potts), Erin Dilly (Truly Scrumptious), Philip Bosco (Grandpa Potts), Marc Kudisch (Baron Bomburst), Jan Maxwell (Baroness Bomburst), Ellen Marlow (Jemima Potts), and Henry Hodges (Jeremy Potts). The Broadway production closed on December 31, 2005, after 34 previews and 285 regular performances. According to producer Nicholas Paleologos, "A substantial portion of the $15 million (initial investment) will not be recouped on Broadway."[3][4]

A US national tour began in November 2008 at the Broward Center in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, with a revised script by Ray Roderick, who was the tour director.[5] These revisions have since become part of the licensed script. The original US touring prop car is now under exclusive ownership by Tony Garofalo of New York City, released by Big League Productions and currently being used for private display use as well as fundraising events. This prop vehicle is a full-sized version and fully equipped with many hydraulically activated stage tricks, such as surround stage mounted lighting, retractable wings, and spinning 45-degree tilt tires.[6]

Subsequent UK touring productions[edit]

Since closing in London, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang toured around the UK, stopping in Sunderland (December 9, 2005 – March 4, 2006), Manchester (March 20 – June 10, 2006), Birmingham (June 23 – September 2, 2006), Liverpool (September 18 – November 18, 2006), Edinburgh (December 1, 2006 – February 24, 2007), Bristol (March 9 – June 9, 2007) and Southampton (June 25 – September 15, 2007), Bradford (February 11 – April 5, 2008), Sunderland (April 17 – June 7, 2008), Cardiff (July 3 – August 30, 2008). The UK tour visited Asia for the first time when it opened on November 2, 2007, in Singapore's Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay. Encouraging ticket sales resulted in an extension of the show to December 9,[7] adding 24 more shows to a run which was originally planned to end on November 18, 2007.[8]

In 2009, the original production toured the UK until 2010 on a smaller scale, directed by original director Adrian Noble and choreographed by David Morgan. This tour used the script revisions used for the US tour by Ray Roderick.

A brand new production by Music and Lyrics Productions opened at the West Yorkshire Playhouse for the Christmas 2015 season, directed by artistic director, James Brining and choreographed by Stephen Mear. Following the run at the West Yorkshire Playhouse, the production toured the UK and Ireland starring Jason Manford and Lee Mead as Caractacus Potts opening at the Mayflower Theatre, Southampton (February 10–21, 2016), before stopping in Dublin (February 24 – March 13, 2016), Belfast (March 16–27, 2016), Stoke (March 30 – April 9, 2016), Southend (April 13–24, 2016), Milton Keynes (May 4–14, 2016), Nottingham (May 18–29, 2016), Newcastle (June 1–12, 2016), Sheffield (June 29 – July 17, 2016), Wimbledon (July 20–30, 2016), Cardiff (August 3–21, 2016), Canterbury (August 24 – September 3, 2016), Birmingham (September 7–18, 2016), Northampton (September 21 – October 2, 2016), Edinburgh (October 5–16, 2016), Glasgow (October 19–29, 2016), Woking (November 9–19, 2016), Salford (December 6, 2016 – January 15, 2017) and ended in February 2017 at the Bristol Hippodrome (January 25 – February 4, 2017).[9] On March 20, 2020, Charles Hanson of Hanson Auctioneers in Staffordshire announced the firm would sell approximately 120 items, including the flying car, from this production on April 20.[10]

Other productions[edit]

The Australian national production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang opened on November 17, 2012, at the Capitol Theatre in Sydney, featuring David Hobson and Rachael Beck.[11] The German premiere of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang took place on April 30, 2014, at the Prinzregententheater in Munich, translated by Frank Thannhaeuser, directed by Josef E. Koepplinger and choreographed by Ricarda Regina Ludigkeit. The same team staged another production at State Theatre on Gaertnerplatz in early 2020.[12]

Musical Numbers[edit]

Notes

*Songs were omitted for the 2008 US tour. "Kiddy-Widdy-Winkies" was replaced with a version of "Lovely Lonely Man" from the original film, sung by Truly Scrumptious.

Casts[edit]

Character Original London cast
2002
Original Broadway cast
2005
First UK tour and Singapore
2005–2008
First US tour
2008–2009
Second UK tour
2009–2010
Original Australian cast
2012
Third UK tour
2015–2017
Caractacus Potts Michael Ball Raúl Esparza Steve Wilson Darren Bennett David Hobson
Truly Scrumptious Emma Williams Erin Dilly Marissa Dunlop Kelly McCormick
  • Rachel Stanley
  • Katie Ray
Rachael Beck
Grandpa Potts Anton Rodgers Philip Bosco Dick Decareau John Griffiths Peter Carroll Andy Hockley
Jeremy Potts
Henry Hodges
  • Tom Hunter
  • Connor Doyle
  • Daniel Jukes
  • Daniel Shaw
  • Harrison Edwards
  • Samuel Wright
  • Adam Hargreaves
  • Jeremy Lipton
  • Zachary Carter Sayle
  • Michael Kilbane
  • Anthony Garcia
  • Max Walburn
Location dependent
Jemima Potts
Ellen Marlow
  • Leyci Wightman
  • Maddy Allison
  • Shona Eaton
  • Chloe Jones
  • Harriet Back
  • Shannon Wake
  • Katie Reynolds
  • Niamh Coombes (Singapore only)
  • Aly Brier
  • Camille Mancuso
  • Jasmin Younger
  • Rose Shannon-Duhigg
  • Ashleigh Ross
Location dependent
Baron Bomburst[1] Brian Blessed Marc Kudisch George Dvorsky Edward Peel
Baroness Bomburst[2] Nichola McAuliffe Jan Maxwell Elizabeth Ward Kim Ismay Jennifer Vuletic
Childcatcher[3] Richard O'Brien Kevin Cahoon Oliver Wadsworth Dean Maynard Tyler Coppin
Toymaker[4] Edward Petherbridge Frank Raiter Richard Owens Richard G. Rodgers Tony Jackson
  • Phillip Gould
  • Tony Farrell
Ewan Cummins
Boris David Ross Robert Sella Robert Traynor Dirk Lumbard Richard Ashton Todd Goddard Sam Harrison
Goran Emil Wolk Chip Zien Nigel Garton Scott Cote Nigel Garton George Kapiniaris Scott Paige
Lord Scrumptious[5] David Henry Kenneth Kantor Duncan Smith George Dvorsky Edward Peel Alan Brough|Shane Bourne
  1. ^ Actor also played "Junkman" after changes to the 2008 US tour.
  2. ^ Actor also played "Lord Scrumptious" after changes to the 2008 US tour.
  3. ^ Actress also played "Miss Phillips" after changes to the 2008 US tour.
  4. ^ Actor also played "Coggins" after changes to the 2005 UK tour.
  5. ^ Actor also played "Baron Bomburst" after changes to the 2008 US tour.

Notable London replacements[edit]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Original London production[edit]

Year Award Category Nominee Result
2003 Whatsonstage.com Awards Best New Musical Nominated
Best Actor in a Musical Michael Ball Nominated
Best Actress in a Musical Emma Williams Nominated
Best Supporting Actress in a Musical Nichola McAuliffe Nominated
Best Set Design Anthony Ward Won
Laurence Olivier Award Best New Musical Nominated
Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical Nichola McAuliffe Nominated
Best Set Design Anthony Ward Nominated

Original Broadway production[edit]

Year Award Category Nominee Result
2005 Tony Award Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical Erin Dilly Nominated
Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical Marc Kudisch Nominated
Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical Jan Maxwell Nominated
Best Scenic Design Anthony Ward Nominated
Best Lighting Design Mark Henderson Nominated

2015–2017 UK tour[edit]

Year Award Category Nominee Result
2017 Whatsonstage.com Awards Best Actress in a Musical Carrie Hope Fletcher Nominated
Best Regional Production (at the New Wimbledon Theatre) Nominated

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang the Musical". Eon productions. Archived from the original on December 8, 2009. Retrieved November 14, 2009.
  2. ^ Brantley, Ben. "She's a Diva on Wheels of Song." The New York Times, April 29, 2005. Retrieved February 29, 2008.
  3. ^ Boroff, Philip (Bloomberg News). "Two underrated Broadway musicals deserved better: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Sweet Charity may take to the road", Ottawa Citizen. ARTS; Pg. D4. December 26, 2005
  4. ^ 2005 "Broadway box office grosses for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" Broadwayworld.com
  5. ^ Gans, Andrew. "'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang' Launches National Tour in Florida Nov. 18". Playbill, November 18, 2008
  6. ^ "Car at Garofalo" strawberryfieldsthetribute.com, accessed May 24, 2015
  7. ^ Majid, Hasnita A. "'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang' musical to extend run till Dec 9." Channel NewsAsia.com, November 1, 2007. Retrieved February 29, 2008.
  8. ^ "Chitty Chitty to open with a big Bang Bang in Singapore." MI6 News, October 4, 2007. Retrieved February 29, 2008.
  9. ^ Mayo, Douglas (October 16, 2015). "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang 2016 Tour Tickets". British Theatre.com.
  10. ^ Sharman, Laura; Rodger, James (March 20, 2020). "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang stage show props up for sale - including flying car". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved April 18, 2020.
  11. ^ Bennett, Sally (September 7, 2011). "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang coming to Australia". Herald Sun. Melbourne. Retrieved April 18, 2020.
  12. ^ "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang". Gärtnerplatztheater. Retrieved April 18, 2020.

External links[edit]