Review: CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY Brings a World of Pure Imagination to Jackson

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By: Mar. 23, 2022
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Review: CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY Brings a World of Pure Imagination to Jackson

The Candy Man came to Jackson on Sunday, March 13th, and brought a world of pure imagination with him. As part of Broadway in Jackson's 2021-2022 season, presented by Trustmark, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory's North American tour stopped at Thalia Mara Hall for one night only.

The tour, presented by NETworks Presentations, is based on the novel of the same name by Roald Dahl. Featuring a book by David Greig, music by Marc Shaiman, and lyrics by Shaiman and Scott Whittman, the production also includes songs from the motion picture. The show also features fantastical choreography by Alison Solomon.

Leading the company as the wacky, wonderful Willy Wonka is Cody Garcia, whose comedic timing stole the show on several occasions. Charlie Bucket, the only golden ticket winner with pure intentions, was, at this performance, played by Coleman Simmons, whose joy to be on the stage with this company was palpable. The time spent between Coleman and Steve McCoy, starring as his hysterical Grandpa Joe, was some of the most fun to witness throughout the show. Each taking their turn in the spotlight as the other winners of the golden tickets, and subsequently being stricken in some unforgettable, sometimes a bit dark fashion from the competition for Wonka's mysterious grand prize, were Zakiya Baptiste as the pompous Violet Beauregarde, Angela Palladini as the spoiled rotten Veruca Salt, Nic Mains as the gluttonous Augustus Gloop, and, at this performance, understudy Bernie Baldassaro as the electronics-obsessed Mike Teavee, who smashed the role as though he does it eight times a week, every week. The cast includes a stellar ensemble who, for some of the show, play the famous, orange Oompa Loompas, among other characters.

While this show, with its fun music, comical characters, magical set, and iconic storyline made for a nice evening of theatre, it is of note that it is not necessarily one to be recommended for young children, featuring a few moments of dark humor that might not be entirely appropriate for younger audience members. That aside, the production is definitely entertaining and enjoyable! A link to the tour's itinerary and ticket-sales sites can be found below.


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