Willy Wonka Comes to Aurora

Hi, Leslie Harris here, and Friday night, I got to attend the opening of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the Paramount Theatre in Aurora. What fun!

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory was one of my favorite movies as a kid, so I wasn’t sure if this would live up to it. But once again, the Paramount has knocked it out of the park.

The story closely resembles that of the original movie, with the exception of a mysterious candy shop that opens fairly early in the story.

All of the characters are back, including Veruca Salt, Augustus Gloop, Violet Beauregard, and Mike TeeVee, with their respective parents. They’ve been updated (Mike carries a smartphone, of course) and they are hilariously exaggerated.

And the Oompa Loompas just about stole the show! They are chaotically delightful, carrying out their tasks while cartwheeling and back flipping onto and off of the stage.
Stephen Shellhardt and Mena Sood were delightful as Willy Wonka and Charlie Bucket. Given the intense schedule of the show, the role of Charlie has been double cast, and you may get to see the equally talented Charlie Long in the role of Charlie Bucket.
The sets are stunning, the costumes are whimsical, and the action is non-stop. And the music will have you dancing in your seat.
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is playing at the Paramount Theatre in Aurora through January 14th, 2024. Get tickets and information HERE