Review: CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY is Sweetly Imaginative at the Eccles Theater

CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY plays the Eccles Theater for a limited engagement through Sunday, June 19, 2022.

By: Jun. 15, 2022
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Review: CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY is Sweetly Imaginative at the Eccles Theater
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The sweetly imaginative national tour of Roald Dahl's CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY wraps up its travels across the country with a final stop in Utah at the Eccles Theater.

CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY (book by David Grieg, music by Marc Shaiman, lyrics by Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman) is based on the beloved children's book by Roald Dahl and two Warner Brother films. Young Charlie Bucket doesn't have much, but what he does have is a vivid imagination and dreams about chocolate and Willy Wonka's mysterious candy factory. When Wonka offers five golden ticket winners the prize of a lifetime, can Charlie dare to dream he might be one of them?

The bubbly new score doesn't ever quite live up to the heights of the four thankfully included songs from the 1971 version (by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley). However, this new iteration is very successful at filling in the lines of Charlie's character and reinventing his relationship with Willy Wonka in a satisfying way.

Cody Garcia is an enigmatic but approachable Wonka, giving a laudable performance. William Goldsman (triple cast with Kai Edgar and Coleman Simmons) is precocious and endearing as Charlie.

Most of the characters are painted with broad strokes by design, and the cast succeeds winningly, including Steve McCoy as Grandpa Joe, Claire Leyden as Mrs. Bucket, JACNIER as Mike Teavee, Zakiya Baptiste as Violet Beauregarde, Nic Mains as Augustus Gloop, Angela Palladini as Veruca Salt, Meagan Michelson as Mrs. Teavee, Branden R. Mangan as Mr. Beauregarde, Audrey Belle Adams as Mrs. Gloop, and Scott Fuss as Mr. Salt.

The serviceable production design by Mark Thompson (scenic and costume design), Christine Peters (tour scenic design), Jeff Sugg (projection design), and Japhy Weideman (lighting design) can sometimes veer on the garish side but at other times is bold and inventive, such as in the case of the amusing puppetry by Basil Twist.

The show consistently keeps the audience on its toes wondering what will come next, which for a story as well known as this, is a triumph in itself.

CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY plays the Eccles Theater for a limited engagement through Sunday, June 19, 2022. For tickets, call ArtTix at 801-355-ARTS (2787) or visit www.artsaltlake.org.

Photo Credit: The cast of Roald Dahl's CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY. Photo by Jeremy Daniel.



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