Step Inside Wonka’s Factory at the Kimmel Center’s Academy of Music

Sing it with me now:

“Come with me
And you’ll be
In a world of pure imagination
Take a look
And you’ll see
Into your imagination…”

From the moment you take your seat at the Academy of Music for the musical version of Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, you become part of the show. The set design (by five-time Tony Award nominee Mark Thompson), with digital animations and ever changing backdrops, makes the audience feel like they live at Charlie’s house and accompany him on the magical, mysterious Wonka factory tour.

The show is easy to follow, with not much changing from the book and movie versions. Here, we see Mike Teavee (Daniel Quadrino) and Violet Beauregarde (Brynn Williams) as screen loving, social media obsessed teenagers. These updates to the classic characters are a good lesson for children who come to see the show- look up, open your eyes, there’s so much out in the world to explore and see. Charlie Buckett knows this and takes in the world around him as he and his grandpa receive the last of the Golden Tickets and are given the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to leave the confines of their small, run-down home.

Songs from the movie, “Pure Imagination,” “The Candy Man,” and “I’ve Got a Golden Ticket,” are all here. But there are plenty of new tunes to love too, straight from the songwriters of Hairspray.

Throughout the show’s run, lovable Charlie will be played by three talented boys. Henry Boshart took the role for opening night and he was perfect. It’s safe to say this is the role he was born to play and I look forward to following his career. I also have no doubt that the other two actors playing Charlie- Collin Jeffery and Rueby Wood- will do just as great.

Please take your family to see this show. It’s an important lesson to all ages to keep a twinkle of imagination in your mind and let fantasy take control sometimes. Eating all the candy in an entire room is an okay thing to do sometimes. Having a good heart and approaching the world with kindness will get you far, as we see with Charlie. We should all be like Charlie right now. So take a journey to the Academy of Music now through November 18th to have a little fun. I recommend grabbing some candy before the show because you are going to crave it within the first few minutes!

Like last year, Kimmel Center’s Volver restaurant will be offering cocktails to perfectly pair with each show of the Broadway season. Drop in for the Veruca Salt, a cranberry mojito! The restaurant, from Chef Jose Garces, also has a pre-theatre menu that’s $35 for adults and $18 for children. It’s a great deal and wonderful beginning to a fun family night out. Consider making reservations before Charlie or any of the upcoming shows this season.

Tickets for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory can be purchased here.

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