‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ is a sweet musical

Category: Activities, Performances, & Events

We all know the story of Willy Wonka and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but this new production, now playing at the historic Pantages Theater in Los Angeles, is a fun way to experience all the craziness of the story with plenty of music and some whacky characters.  The opening night was filled with expectant audience members anxious to see how this new production would play out, and it didn’t disappoint anyone – young or old.

From the opening “The Candy Man” song, the audience was off on an amazing journey with young Charlie, enthusiastically played by Rueby Wood in this performance. Noah Weisberg was a fun and over-the-top Willy Wonka who provided plenty of jokes, one-liners, and songs to keep everyone entertained.

The first half of the play is all about Charlie and his family. They are poor and living together in one small house – his four grandparents and his mother, and of course, young Charlie who has dreams and an incredible imagination. But they are too poor to buy more than one chocolate bar for him and he only receives his beloved chocolate once a year on his birthday. This year he is hoping a gold ticket will be inside his birthday chocolate, but it isn’t. Then, miraculously, he does receive a golden ticket and off he goes with his Grandpa Joe to join the other four winners at the colorful and strange factory where the delicious treats are created.

The first half of the play is filled with plenty of upbeat songs. They’re enough to give everyone a sugar high as the audience claps along to the music and enjoys the characters as one by one the four young winners claim their gold tickets.

The second half of the play is actually better because it all takes place inside this wondrous chocolate factory. One of the highlights for the audiences is the imaginative way the Oompa Loompas are performed. They are adorable and are on stage in a very creative way.

The play is considered PG because of some violence and one or two areas of dialogue not intended for young ears. It is recommended for ages 6 and up. Children under 5 will not be admitted. But all in all, this is a fun family affair with songs, lessons, and a young hero who never gives up his imagination and never fails to follow his dream.

“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” is an entertaining new musical production playing at the Pantages through April 14, 2019.  It runs 2 hours and 30 minutes (including intermission.)

About the Author

Francine Brokaw has been covering all aspects of the entertainment industry for over 25 years. She also writes about products and travel. She has been published in national and international newspapers and magazines as well as Internet websites. She has written her own book, Beyond the Red Carpet The World of Entertainment Journalists, from Sourced Media Books, is the entertainment correspondent for Good Day Orange County, and has her own TV show, Beyond the Red Carpet, on Village Television in Orange County.

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