With three kids heavily involved in sports our quality time typically revolves around road trips to tournaments. It’s pretty rare that we have a day off but when we do, I like to take advantage of it! One of my favorite things to do with my kids is take them to a musical. It’s especially fun if it’s a story they already know so we can imagine and discuss the ways we think it might be the same or different prior to the show. We imagine what the set will look like and how tricky parts of the story line might be accomplished on stage.
Last night I took my youngest and oldest to Charlie and The Chocolate Factory at the Paramount Theatre in Seattle. This theater is one of my absolute favorite places in Seattle. The building itself is stunningly gorgeous. We always have plenty of time before the show to ogle the architecture of building.
The ceilings and walls are very ornate and the chandeliers that hang from the ceiling are over the top. The theatre staff are very friendly and helpful. One of the ushers suggested a cushion booster for my daughter so she’d be able to see the show better. She let us know where they were and advised we should grab one before the show got started. I also saw staff helping out by taking cell phone photos for people.
We stuck with selfies both on the photo backdrop inside the theater and outside with the show poster. It was really fun spending this time with my kiddos and we were super excited for the show!
The theater opens one hour prior to the show and the seating opens approximately 30 minutes prior to the show. We took our seats and were waiting patiently when one of the friendly ushers suggested we go up and take a peek into the pit. I had just been explaining to my kids that the music for the show was played by a live orchestra hidden in the pit so it was pretty cool to actually show them this!
In case you aren’t familiar with the story of Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, here’s the quick synopsis:
Roald Dahl’s CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY tells the story of Willy Wonka, world famous inventor of the Everlasting Gobstopper, who has just made an astonishing announcement. His marvelous—and mysterious—factory is opening its gates…to a lucky few. That includes young Charlie Bucket, whose life definitely needs sweetening. He and four other golden ticket winners will embark on a mesmerizing, life-changing journey through Wonka’s world of pure imagination. Get ready for Oompa-Loompas, incredible inventions, the great glass elevator, and more, more, more at this everlasting showstopper!
My own kids are quite familiar with the story and had seen several versions of the movie. We couldn’t wait to see what an Oompa Loompa would look like on stage and were super curious how the elevator scene would play out live. I won’t give away an surprises but I will say we were certainly NOT disappointed. My kids were amazed with the visual effects and illusions throughout the show. They pulled off the elevator scene making it realistically appear to be floating. My kids thought that the actors for the Oompa Loompas would have to be kids since they’re small however they were not. The Oompa Loompas were hilarious and pulled off their roles with illusions.
My kids were enthralled with the show and were surprised when the lights came on just as the Golden Tickets Winners arrived at the gate of the factory. They tried to hide their disappointment when they told me the show “wasn’t ANYTHING like the movie”! They thought the show was OVER and couldn’t believe they weren’t going to see inside the factory and get to know the Golden Ticket winners better. They were so relieved when I told them it was only “halftime”.
The musical does actually follow the original story line pretty closely in my opinion however it is slightly updated to modernize some aspects of it. Adults will get a kick out of much of the humor. I found myself laughing out loud several times during the show. It was fantastic and something I highly recommend as a way to spend some quality time with your family. It’s something they’re sure to remember for years to come. My kids were still talking about the show this morning and singing some of the songs which were also fantastic by the way! The hit Broadway musical features songs from the original film, including “Pure Imagination,” “The Candy Man,” and “I’ve Got a Golden Ticket,” plus a new score from the songwriters from Hairspray.
None of us could decide on a favorite character. They were all so funny with amazing wardrobes and personalities. We couldn’t pick a favorite scene either though my daughter really loved the squirrel scene in the Nut Sorting room with Veruca and giant dancing squirrels. There were just too many great scenes to pick a favorite!
Roald Dahl’s CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY will play The Paramount Theatre from July 31 through August 11! More information and a link to the ticketing for the Seattle engagement can be found here: https://www.stgpresents.org/calendar/3952/roald-dahl-s-charlie-and-the-chocolate-factory. Tickets start at $30. Use code VERUCA to Buy One, Get One Half-Off.
This is valid on Price Levels B-F, performances August 1 at 1:00 PM and all performances August 6-11. Not valid on previous purchases. All ticket sales are final. No refunds or exchanges. All patrons, regardless of age, must have a ticket. Due to the nature of live entertainment; dates, times, performers and prices are subject to change. Limit 8 tickets per order.
For more information about the cast, set and production, visit www.CharlieOnBroadway.com.