WB musical switches London venues
The London incarnation of “Shrek the Musical” will shutter in February, but the West End’s Drury Lane Theater won’t go empty for long: The upcoming world preem of another tuner, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” has decided to shift from its previously announced home at the London Palladium to begin perfs at the Drury Lane in May.Both musicals have Sam Mendes’ London-based Neal Street Prods. on the producing team, and Mendes will helm “Charlie.” Produced by DreamWorks Animation and Neal Street, “Shrek” began U.K. perfs in May 2011 and scored an Olivier for thesp Nigel Harman in the role of bad-guy Lord Farquaad. Show will close Feb. 24. Tuner played Broadway from December 2008 through January 2010, and has been produced in licensed stagings in countries including Spain, Poland, France and China, with upcoming productions in Brazil, Italy, Denmark and the Netherlands. Meanwhile, “Charlie,” produced by Warner Bros. Theater Ventures, Neal Street and Kevin McCormick, is taking advantage of the newly available London venue to move house. Musical has a book by David Greig and tunes by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman (“Hairspray,” “Smash”). “Charlie” begins previews May 18 ahead of a June opening, with an exact date still to be set.