John Stamos is ready to make the sun rise over the Hollywood Bowl as famous candy man Willy Wonka, taking on the role for the November 3 and 4 concert performances of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. As opposed to Broadway's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (now starring Christian Borle at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre), which features a brand-new score by Marc Shaiman and Scott Whittman, the Hollywood Bowl production will run the 1971 film as the cast sings Anthony Newley, Leslie Bricusse, and Walter Scharf's tunes live onstage.
The setup will put Stamos face-to-face with his legendary predecessor Gene Wilder, whose quirky physicality permanently planted his flag in the character of the crazy chocolatier. From his days as Full House's Uncle Jesse, Stamos has always been more "smooth criminal" than "eccentric misfit." But looking back at Stamos's stint as Albert Peterson in the 2009 revival of Bye Bye Birdie, we detect a note of Wonka in his Dick Van Dyke-inspired dance moves. See for yourself in his charismatic Thanksgiving Day Parade performance of "Put On a Happy Face."