HONOLULU (KHON2) — Charlie & the Chocolate Factory has left an indelible mark on the American zeitgeist.
The genius of Roald Dahl transcends generations and has been a staple for children’s entertainment since the idea was first published in 1964.
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The follow-up remake titled Charlie & the Chocolate Factory came in 2005. It starred Johnny Depp and was directed by Tim Burton.
Now, there is a traveling musical that is coming to Honolulu. Dahl’s Willy Wonka, Jr. will be a live musical coming to Hawaiʻi Theater. The musical is presented by Hawaiʻi Theatre Center Education and powered by PAPA Hawai’i.
“We are so excited to bring a little bit of wonder and welcome audiences to a ‘world of pure imagination’ to the Hawaiʻi Theatre stage this weekend,” said Gregory Dunn, CEO of Hawaiʻi Theater Center.
The show nearly didn’t make it to Hawaiʻi.
“After having to postpone the show earlier this year due to Covid, the children in the Pacific Academy of Performing Arts program under the direction of Mr. J.P. Tai will delight audiences,” explained Dunn.
So, are you ready to enter a land filled with pure imagination?
It’s your opportunity to meet the Candy Man himself, Mr. Willy Wonka. In the musical, Wonka is in search of a successor who can take over his chocolate factory.
You’ll be entertained by the five lucky golden ticket winners who will venture into the depths of the chocolate factory to receive a lifetime supply of Chocolate and an unforgettable tour of the chocolate wonderland.
Willy Wonka, Jr. features hit songs like Pure Imagination, Candy Man and, of course, the familiar Oompa Loompa songs, too. There are 40 cast members who will bring this world and the characters to life.
Hawaiʻi Theater is an excellent venue for this type of musical.
“As the state’s premier performing arts venue, there is nothing more satisfying that watching our own young actors developing their skills and showing off their talents in the grandest show palace in town,” said Dunn. “We are so proud of all of the students and are equally grateful to their parents who volunteer countless hours to help make the shows a success.”
Your chance to see Willy Wonka, Jr. is coming to Hawaiʻi Theater on Saturday, Oct. 14 and Sunday, Oct. 15. Saturday’s shows are at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m., and Sunday’s show begins at 1 p.m.
Click here for more information showtimes, prices and venue.
“We hope that families will bring their ‘golden ticket’ and join us in Chinatown this week in enjoying a ‘little bit of paradise’, inside of the Historic Hawaiʻi Theatre with Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka, Jr.,” added Dunn.
Keiki can get tickets for $5 while adult tickets are set at $10.
The production is taking access a step further and helping keiki across the state access theater. and all the wonderful experiences it has to offer.
“The Hawaiʻi Theatre is also grateful to Atlas Insurance, First Hawaiian Bank and Hawaiian Airlines for their generous support of the theatre’s Children’s education program over the course of the year,” said Dunn. “Through their support and that of our generous individual donors, we are able to preset 4 musicals each year, welcoming over 10,000 school students to attend reduced price performances as part of their arts education curriculum.”
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Dunn said that when children are able to see other children on Hawaiʻi Theater’s stage in professional theatre productions, the experience can be transformative in helping inspire future artists and performers to follow their own dreams.