Review: CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY - Scrumdiddlyumptious Fun For Everyone

A fantastic show for the whole family.

By: Mar. 24, 2022
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Review: CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY - Scrumdiddlyumptious Fun For Everyone

Roald Dahl's CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY - The New Musical, currently playing at Austin's Bass Concert Hall as part of the Broadway In Austin series, is fantastic fun for the whole family.

I've been a fan of the book, published in 1964, since my 6th grade teacher read the book to our class way back in 1970. I remember vividly hanging on every word of Dahl's wonderous descriptions of the magical chocolate factory and giggling with glee at his wicked witticisms. The whimsically sweet story of the waifish young Charlie Bucket and the eccentric candy maker Willy Wonka has captured the imagination of generations of children and adults alike. I read the book to my children, twice, by popular demand. Its over-the-top characters and themes of true goodness and kindness resonate with us all, no matter our age.

CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY - The New Musical with book by David Greg, music by Marc Shaiman and lyrics by Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman brings back favorite songs The Candy Man, Golden Ticket and Pure Imagination from by Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse from the 1971 motion picture. This production has the sometimes dark humor of Dahl's story, stirs in fantastic musical numbers and adds the pure magic of live theatre into the mix. The combination is magically delicious. The touring production exceeded my expectations in every way. My inner 6th grader was screaming and my adult self was grinning ear to ear from overture to final curtain. There is something for every audience member, this is the musical to introduce your school aged kiddos to or bring grandma to share the joy.

For the Tuesday, March 22nd performance young William Goldsman (one of three Charlie Buckets) led the cast with a captivating performance that made us fall in love with Charlie in the first 30 seconds of his appearance on stage. Goldsman presence, verve and clear grasp of the title character is spectacular. His command of the audience is impressive in such a young performer. I'm certain we will see his star rise to dizzying heights in the future. Cody Garcia (a San Antonio native) shone like a supernova as Willy Wonka. His physical comedy skills are as on point as his dancing and beautiful vocals. What a pair Goldsman and Garcia make! They have many fantastic theatrical moments that filled my heart. I can only imagine how wonderful the other two tour Charlie Buckets (Kai Edgar and Coleman Simmons) are. You're in for a treat no matter who is on stage. Other notable performers are Claire Leyden as Mrs Bucket, Steve McCoy as Grandpa Joe, Audrey Belle Adams as Mrs.Gloop, and Zakiya Baptiste as Violet Beauregard. Each actor brought amazing energy and character to stand out in a stellar cast. My favorite individual performance of the evening was Domanick Anton Hubbard as Mrs.Green. Every time he appeared on stage the audience roared with laughter, his comic timing is a thing of beauty. Of course no review would be complete without a mention of the Oompa-Loompas. The fantastic hybrid puppet/actors stole every scene they were in. Their clever choreography is hilarious and perfectly executed. I'd like to add a big kudo to Jacnier as Mike Teavee for powering through microphone issues and making himself heard clearly even without the audio boost. That's the mark of a true performer right there.

Walking out of Bass Concert Hall after the show was simply wonderful. While I had two dear friends with me, it was the smiles, laughter and pure joy that I saw on the faces of the audience that struck me. Children danced and skipped through the lobby and down the front steps while shouting about their favorite part of the performance to their parents who laughed and smiled back. This is the real magic of Roald Dahl's story, bringing family together and sparking imagination in everyone it touches.


book by David Greg, music by Marc Shaiman and lyrics by Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman

with songs from the motion picture by Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse

Broadway In Austin at Bass Concert Hall

March 22 - 27

Running Time: 2 and a half hours with one 15 minute intermission

Tickets: $20 and up


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