Mark Clairmont | MuskokaTODAILY.com
Photos by Jon Snelson | HFA
HUNTSVILLE — The elevator pitch: A sweet kid is lured into a fantastical factory full of Oompa-Loompas, with a promise of chocolate, by an eccentric nut bar in a top hat.
Could be creepy. Anywhere else, but on stage, the audience would be calling the Hershey cops on Willy Wonka.
Not in this confectionary rebake of “Charlie and Chocolate Factory,” a.k.a. “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.”
This nutty chocolatier is full of kindness, goodness and sweetness, as he looks via a lottery for a young heir to his renowned candy-making business. Five lucky kids who unwrap a gold ticket in their candy bar get to tour the fun-filled Wonka factory and a chance to feast on a lifetime of crushed cocoa bean products.
Huntsville Rotary and the Huntsville Festival of the Arts mix up a batch of local talent for a ninth year running, in HFA’s 25th season.
With a cast of 50 (including many great young ensemble players) pumped up on chocolate, this tantalizing dreamy, creamy musical tale lights up the stage with more fun than a bag Easter bunnies.
This savoury adventure proves oh, how the “Candy Man” can entertain.
The 1964 British kids book by Roald Dahl comes alive with veteran local actor Mike Pearse taking the lead in a tough role made famous in the movies by Gene Wilder (1971) and Johnny Depp (2005).
Alexia Evans is the protagonist…
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