19 – 22 MARCH 2025
Suddenly before us stands Willy Wonka, the world-renowned candy maker and inventor of the Everlasting Gobstopper (“THE CANDY MAN’) – a genius who believes he is a forgotten man. Wonka transforms himself into the world-weary owner of a candy shop who makes the acquaintance of young Charlie Bucket, who idolizes Willy Wonka. When the shop owner tells Charlie that Wonka is about to make a comeback, the boy is thrilled but exasperated that the shop owner does not seem to know just who Willy Wonka is (“WILLY WONKA! WILLY WONKA!”). Charlie comes from a poor, fatherless family that scrounges for food, and he lives for his birthday each year when he receives as a gift a single Willy Wonka Chocolate Bar. The shop owner tells him that Willy Wonka is going to open the mysteries of his chocolate factory – but only to the five lucky possessors of a golden ticket to be found in a Wonka Bar. Back home, Charlie learns that times are so hard for his family that he will not get his birthday Wonka Bar this year – so no chance at the golden ticket. Of the four eccentric grandparents who live in the house – in fact, in the same bad – Grandpa Joe is Charlie’s kindred spirit (“CHARLIE, YOU & I”), urging him on. Charlie decides to write a letter to Willy Wonka (“A LETTER FROM CHARLIE BUCKET”), in which he expresses his wonder and admiration (as well as some ideas) for the candy maker.
The news breaks that the first winner of a golden ticket is a food-loving German boy (“MORE OF HIM TO LOVE”), adored by his mother and named Augustus Gloop. The second (“WHEN VERUCA SAYS”) is Veruca Salt, the spoiled-rotten daughter of a Russian oligarch. The winner of the third ticket (“THE QUEEN OF POP”) is Violet Beauregarde, whose publicity hound of a father is turning her pursuit of a world record for chewing gum into a media event. The fourth ticket (“WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG?”) goes to Mike Teavee, a brat who is mesmerized by social media, to the delight of his mother. Charlie appears to be out of luck, leaving his mother and grandparents wistful for what she is unable to provide (“IF YOUR FATHER WERE HERE”), when fate intervenes. He finds some money on the ground and buys a Wonka bar from Mrs. Green’s cart and discovers a golden ticket, making him the fifth winner. Charlie and his whole family celebrate the news (“I’VE GOT A GOLDEN TICKET” / “GRANDPA JOE”) that he is headed to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, where Grandpa Joe will join him. At long last, Willy Wonka welcomes the winners into his factory, teasing them about what lies ahead for them (“IT MUST BE BELIEVED TO BE SEEN”).
Inside the factory, Wonka introduces the winners to the wonders they are about to encounter – and some things they need to remember (“STRIKE THAT, REVERSE IT”). Charlie and Grandpa Joe are in awe of Wonka and what the magical experience has to offer (“PURE IMAGINATION”/ “GRANDPA JOE (REPRISE)”), while the other children are greedy and impatient. One by one, the ticket holders become victims of their own appetites. Augustus Gloop’s insatiable hunger for the chocolate waterfall makes him the first victim (“THE OOMPA LOOMPA SONG” / “AUF WIEDERSEHEN AUGUSTUS GLOOP”), his fate is determined by the mysterious Oompa Loompas who do Wonka’s bidding. Wonka explains to his guests how he freed the Oompa Loompas and they became his allies (“WHEN WILLY MET OOMPA”). His warnings fall on deaf ears. Violet is then the next golden ticket holder to vanish followed by Veruca (“VERUCA’S NUTCRACKER SWEET”), and finally Mike Teavee (“VIDIOTS”). Ultimately, there is only Charlie, in whom Willy Wonka sees an heir to his magical mission. He welcomes Charlie into a magical glass elevator that takes them up, up, up, so the boy can see everything that will be his (“THE VIEW FROM HERE”) – a happy home and limitless future, thanks to the Candy Man.