Orpheum for Families with Pure Imagination
If you’ve kept up with this production, you know that Roald Dahl kept most of the original story, but did make some changes for the stage adaptation. Among them are new musical pieces from the songwriters of Hairspray. Thinking about a world of pure imagination, it may also be hard to trust that this magical place will be properly represented on a live stage. Your concerns are valid, so we scoured the reviews to see how this is received.
Ultimately, children seem to really love it, and adults are left a bit disappointed with the changes. Willy Wonka is accused of being a little too dark for this role, for example. One reviewer pointed out that he didn’t show any remorse over the deaths of the four children (but did he actually in the movie?) The new songs are described as “forgettable,” and of course the factory itself can’t be represented as well as it was onscreen.
Even reviewers who were unimpressed with the candy factory did give props to the puppetry and projections that were used to bring it to life. And the most consistent raves were about the acting in general and comedy of the second act. In fact, even outside of the perspective of children, the adult reviewers did not dissuade anyone from watching the show, even when they appeared to be disappointed overall.
If you want to bring children with you to the show, then the most important thing to know is that all of the reviewers included conversations they had with kids in the audience, the consensus was an overwhelming thumbs up. One mother said she could barely pay attention to the show because she couldn’t take her eyes off her kid’s beaming face. That’s a gift!
To see how this version tickles your fancy, catch one of 16 performances at the Orpheum Theatre March 6 – 17. You can find safe parking very close for just $6 at the Park and Shop Ramps after 4 pm Monday – Saturday and all day Sundays.