‘Charlie & the Chocolate Factory’ is high-energy & fun

By Hollyann Gardner
Times-News correspondent 

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The national touring production of "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" is being performed Feb. 14-17, 2019, at DPAC in Durham. [Joan Marcus

   DURHAM — “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” is a high-quality,    energetic show perfect for the whole family.
From the detailed sets to the impressive special effects to the talented performers, this national touring production, at DPAC now through Sunday, is sure to entertain all audiences.
The story centers around Charlie Bucket (Rueby Wood) and his strong desire to one day visit Willy Wonka’s (Benjamin Howes) chocolate factory. When a golden ticket contest gives him the chance to go to the factory along with four nasty children, wild adventures ensue.
Benjamin Howes shines as the quirky Willy Wonka. He never misses a beat in his spoken lines, and his tenor vocals are breathtaking. Additionally, his interactions with the other characters on stage, particularly Charlie, are wonderfully genuine and heartfelt.
Though only 11 years old, Rueby Wood shows exceptional skill portraying protagonist Charlie Bucket. The four other golden ticket winners are also delightfully nasty — though they are played by young adults instead of child actors. Matt Wood, Jessica Cohen, Brynn Williams and Daniel Quadrino as Augustus Gloop, Veruca Salt, Violet Beauregarde, and Mike Teavee, respectively, are highly enjoyable to watch. Each of them play very convincing children and perfectly possess their character’s most iconic traits, while adding their own personal twist.
This show’s sets and special effects are what put this production over the top. The colorful sets light up, move and even show animated video clips in order to help tell the story. There are several instances of special effects that will leave you wondering “How did they do that?” The hours of hard work behind the scenes is extremely evident in this production’s creative team.
Audiences will adore this production.
   

Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. today; 8 p.m. Friday; 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday; and 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Sunday at DPAC, 123 Vivian St., Durham. Tickets are $31 and up and can be purchased at www.ticketmaster.com.

Hollyann Gardner is a high school junior at Alamance Community College and a Teens & 20s writer.

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