Broadway production of ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ opens in Salt Lake
SALT LAKE CITY — It’s opening night for the Broadway touring company of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” at the Eccles Theatre. This is the company’s final stop and they are excited to pull out all the stops.
The magic and the fantasy of the Broadway musical, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” has arrived in Salt Lake.
Three young actors play the title role with enthusiasm. Coleman Simmons said, “I love this role because Charlie is so kind and generous and he thinks about his family more than he does himself.”
William Goldsman said, “I feel, personally that I can connect to the character because he loves chocolate and so do I! I’m a baker and I love to bake, I love chocolate as well.”
Kai Edgar said, “It’s not hard to like doing this, Charlie is a good guy. I just love to see audiences’ reaction to the character.”
“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” is based on the 1964 book by Roald Dahl, then there were the films. The young actors called the story timeless.
Simmons said, “The story teaches good morals and that kindness will always prevail.”
Edgar saw a progression. “Every version of the show has evolved it in a different way and made it better and better and I think that’s why it’s been able to last so long.”
This touring company brought the first production to many theatres around the country, after the pandemic.
Clarie Leyden, who plays the mom, Mrs. Bucket, said it was like a love letter from the family on stage to the families in the audience. “The wonder that is in that room, from everybody who comes to see the show, has been the greatest gift and the greatest joy, truly.”
The lead actors hope that audiences will leave the theatre feeling refreshed and able to keep that feeling with them for a while.
William Goldsman was very thoughtful. “Imagination is something that can be so easily lost, especially nowadays with phones and TVs and things like that. You really need to find those moments and you need to be imaginative and kind.”
Claire Leyden said it’s tonic for our time. “It is a perfectly transporting piece, you’ll leave thinking you weren’t just here at the Eccles, the beautiful Eccles. But also ready to go back to your life, refilled.”
“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” — they called it a balm for the soul, something we all need right now.
The production has eight performances through Sunday at the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Theatre in downtown Salt Lake.
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