"Charlie and the Chocolate Factory", a must-see musical at the Oriental Theatre

For those of us who still believe in magic, put the musical "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" on your photo-1must-see list. Last night's opening at the Oriental Theatre in Chicago was packed with kids and adults, like me who were anxious to escape reality for a while.

During the 2 1/2 hour musical based on the book by Roald Dahl, I didn't notice one kid squirming in their seat. As a matter of fact, the little boy behind me was completely engaged and making the most adorable comments to his mom. Like "that's awful" when the Veruca Salt character is torn to shreds by theĀ  giant squirrels (fabulous visuals here!) and oohing and ahhing over the magical stage designs, as were the rest of us.

photo-3With direction by 3-time Tony Award winner Jack O'Brien, the production features music by Grammy, Tony and Emmy Award winner Marc Shaiman, lyrics by Grammy and Tony Award winners Scott Wittman and Shaiman, a book by Artistic Director of Edinburgh's Royal Lyceum theatre David Greig, choreography by Tony Award nominee and Emmy Award winner Joshua Bergasse and includes additional songs by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley from the 1971 Warner Bros. motion picture.

The hit Broadway musical features songs from the original film, including "Pure Imagination", "The

Charlie Bucket expertly portrayed by Henry Boshart.

Charlie Bucket expertly portrayed by Henry Boshart.

Candy Man", and "I've Got a Golden Ticket", alongside original music by the songwriters from Hairspray.

The cast was outstanding and each perfect for the characters they portrayed but little Charlie Bucket, played by Henry Boshart, was a standout.

The joyous production had people buzzing well out the doors and into the streets following the uplifting, visually appealing, toe-tapping musical that will delight both the young and young at heart.

I don't want to give any of the surprises away, but trust me, there are a LOT--each more magical than the last, leading up to a brilliant high-flying finale!

Presented by Broadway in Chicago at the Oriental Theatre, 24 W. Randolph, for a limited engagement through October 21. For tickets and more info, click here!

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