Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (musical)
|Chitty Chitty Bang Bang|
|Premiere||April 16, 2002: London Palladium|
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.
Original London production (2002–2005)
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. 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.
Original Broadway production (2005)
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". 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."
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. 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.
Subsequent UK touring productions
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, adding 24 more shows to a run which was originally planned to end on November 18, 2007.
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). 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.
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. 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.
*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.
|Character||Original London cast
|Original Broadway cast
|First UK tour and Singapore
|First US tour
|Second UK tour
|Original Australian cast
|Third UK tour|
|Caractacus Potts||Michael Ball||Raúl Esparza||Steve Wilson||Darren Bennett||David Hobson|
|Truly Scrumptious||Emma Williams||Erin Dilly||Marissa Dunlop||Kelly McCormick||
|Grandpa Potts||Anton Rodgers||Philip Bosco||Dick Decareau||John Griffiths||Peter Carroll||Andy Hockley|
|Baron Bomburst||Brian Blessed||Marc Kudisch||George Dvorsky||Edward Peel|
|Baroness Bomburst||Nichola McAuliffe||Jan Maxwell||Elizabeth Ward||Kim Ismay||Jennifer Vuletic|
|Childcatcher||Richard O'Brien||Kevin Cahoon||Oliver Wadsworth||Dean Maynard||Tyler Coppin|
|Toymaker||Edward Petherbridge||Frank Raiter||Richard Owens||Richard G. Rodgers||Tony Jackson||
|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||David Henry||Kenneth Kantor||Duncan Smith||George Dvorsky||Edward Peel||Alan Brough|Shane Bourne|
- ^ Actor also played "Junkman" after changes to the 2008 US tour.
- ^ Actor also played "Lord Scrumptious" after changes to the 2008 US tour.
- ^ Actress also played "Miss Phillips" after changes to the 2008 US tour.
- ^ Actor also played "Coggins" after changes to the 2005 UK tour.
- ^ Actor also played "Baron Bomburst" after changes to the 2008 US tour.
Notable London replacements
- Caractacus Potts: Gary Wilmot, Jason Donovan, Brian Conley
- Truly Scrumptious: Caroline Sheen, Scarlett Strallen, Jo Gibb
- Grandpa Potts: Russ Abbott, Tony Adams
- Baron Bomburst: Victor Spinetti, Christopher Biggins
- Baroness Bomburst: Sandra Dickinson, Louise Gold
- Childcatcher: Paul O'Grady, Peter Polycarpou, Derek Griffiths, Lionel Blair, Stephen Gately, Wayne Sleep, Alvin Stardust
- Goran: Christopher Ryan
Awards and nominations
Original London production
|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
|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
|2017||Whatsonstage.com Awards||Best Actress in a Musical||Carrie Hope Fletcher||Nominated|
|Best Regional Production (at the New Wimbledon Theatre)||Nominated|
- "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang the Musical". Eon productions. Archived from the original on December 8, 2009. Retrieved November 14, 2009.
- Brantley, Ben. "She's a Diva on Wheels of Song." The New York Times, April 29, 2005. Retrieved February 29, 2008.
- 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
- 2005 "Broadway box office grosses for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" Broadwayworld.com
- Gans, Andrew. "'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang' Launches National Tour in Florida Nov. 18". Playbill, November 18, 2008
- "Car at Garofalo" strawberryfieldsthetribute.com, accessed May 24, 2015
- Majid, Hasnita A. "'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang' musical to extend run till Dec 9." Channel NewsAsia.com, November 1, 2007. Retrieved February 29, 2008.
- "Chitty Chitty to open with a big Bang Bang in Singapore." MI6 News, October 4, 2007. Retrieved February 29, 2008.
- Mayo, Douglas (October 16, 2015). "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang 2016 Tour Tickets". British Theatre.com.
- 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.
- Bennett, Sally (September 7, 2011). "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang coming to Australia". Herald Sun. Melbourne. Retrieved April 18, 2020.
- "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang". Gärtnerplatztheater. Retrieved April 18, 2020.