From the “It makes so much sense I can’t believe they didn’t do it sooner” department: WhatsOnStage.com reports that Sam Mendes (director of American Beauty, and former Artistic Director of London theater company Donmar Warehouse) is hard at work on a stage musical adaptation of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, with an opening in London’s West End scheduled for mid-2011. All of which means we should be getting a Broadway version of the musical based on the Roald Dahl book sometime in late 2011-early 2012.
Mendes has some powerful theater folk helping out on the project, including music and lyrics by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, the duo behind Hairspray, and a book by David Greig, the Scottish playwright. Michael Ball will be playing Willy Wonka, though Charlie, Violet and the Oompa-Loompas have yet to be cast. Obviously, the tickets to this show will have to be golden.