What “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” Left Us Craving

This post is a review of the PNC Broadway in Pittsburgh opening night performance of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory“. In exchange for this review, Cultural Trust provided us with tickets to the event. All opinions are 100% our own. 

Chocolate and more theater. I’ll just cut right to the chase. The opening night performance of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” left mama and Ari craving chocolate and more theater. 

If you get a chance to attend the remaining performances of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (through Sunday, February 3), you’ll know what we mean. You know when you’ve had something before but then something better comes along and you’re like where were you all my life? That’s the kind of craving this show gave us. 

Let’s reel it back to the 1990s. I never watched much TV but movies, especially ones with a musical set to give you a lifetime of earworms, they were my thing. I probably watched the Gene Wilder “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” no less than 100 times throughout my life. I am also addicted to chocolate, so maybe it was my inner Augustus coming out?!?! Seriously though, I loved the story of how a kid from (less than) humble beginnings could have the world in his hands just with his dreams and imagination. 

And this is where my career as an Accidental Admin probably makes a ton of sense – I live for this stuff! 

And it is the stuff I want my kids to grow up knowing, so of course, they’ve seen both movie versions of this classic. When the chance to see the show in person came up, I knew that Arianna would be the ‘lil Burgher to appreciate it the most. (Note, this show is for your older kiddos – we had to have a talk about some of the jokes and one word, but my 10-year-old is pretty aware of right and wrong so I think her senses were perked and she wanted to fact check her mama.)

Boy, was I right. The kiddo was on the edge of her seat the whole 2+ hours and I was right there with her. Between the tunes, the characters being brought to today’s time and space (the Mike TV/Wonka ipod crush scene for the parenting win, btw!), and the set…it was just amazing. This was the first I’ve seen cinematic effects like the digital curtains giving the stage depth and this mom in tech was awestruck. The boy who played Charlie was so spot on and Wonka had me believing I needed to dream more. And then I swear they pumped the scent of chocolate into the Benedum Center to top it all off!

If you and your family are looking for something to do to stay warm this week, this is it. And I warn you, you’ll catch the theater bug and want to sign up for some season tickets to upcoming shows too. The lineup they have in store is pretty incredible. Check out the official ticketing site for all the details on this week’s remaining shows or head over to trustarts.org to see what else is playing in town this week and beyond. You won’t want to miss this one!

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