Matchbox presenting ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’

Published 9:29 am Saturday, April 7, 2018

Have you read Roald Dahl’s books to your children? I have. “James and the Giant Peach,” “The BFG,” “The Fantastic Mr. Fox” and “Matilda” are favorites and have been adapted for the movie screen.

Dahl’s 1964 book, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” is no exception. It’s a story loved by generations and has been made into a movie twice — 2005 with Johnny Depp and Gene Wilder in 1971’s “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.”

The story is about 12-year-old Charlie Bucket who lives in a one-room house with his parents and four grandparents. Eccentric chocolatier Willy Wonka announces he will invite five children to come on a tour of his top-secret candy factory. The children will be selected by finding a golden ticket in a Wonka chocolate bar. Charlie badly wants to go but chocolate is an unheard-of luxury in  his home where his four grandparents share a bed. Against all odds, Charlie finds the last golden ticket and his adventure inside the Wonka factory begins.

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Now, Matchbox Children’s Theatre is bringing the story to life on stage at the Paramount Theatre.

Directed by Randy Forster, the production’s cast is Lydia Wik, Blythe Johnson as Narrators; Nathan Martinson as Augustus Gloop; Lilly Loverink as Violet Beauregarde; Madison Tuttle as Veruca Salt; Brenan Winkels as Mike Teavee; Jadon Fimon as Mr. Bucket; Marlea Emberson as Mrs. Bucket; Cate Goodnature as Grandma Josephine; Wayne Goodnature as Grandpa George; Andie Lewis as Grandma Georgina; Paul Burger as Grandpa Joe; Zachary Evenson as Charlie Bucket; Amy Coddington as Mrs. Gloop; Eric Sippel as Willy Wonka; Emily Miller as Mrs. Teavee; Dave Hovland as Mr. Salt; Janet Anderson as Mrs. Beauregard; and Sam Wiks, Jude Hovland, Noah Raatz, Matthew Phanchan, Ayden Keefe, Sawyer Graff, Reese Norton, Sadie Coddington as Oomp-Looppas.

Over 75 kids tried out for parts in this play. What a great sign of the vibrancy of the theatre arts in Austin and the talent of our kids!

Shows are 7 p.m. Friday, April 13, 7 p.m. Saturday, April 14 and 2 p.m. Sunday, April 15. Tickets are available now online at, at the ArtWorks Center  at 300 N Main St., open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. You can also register by phone by calling 507-434-0934 during business hours.

While not required, advance tickets are recommended. Box office ticket lines before performances can be long, so plan ahead if you can.

Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for Golden Tickets at the Paramount Theatre, too. Word has it that some lucky attendees will win prizes like free Paramount movie tickets or a pass to Matchbox’s upcoming 2018-2019 season. After all, in the wise words of Willy Wonka, “A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men.”

Coming soon at the Paramount Theatre

•April 11: $5 Movie: “The Breakfast Club,” 9:30 p.m.

•April 13-15: Matchbox Children’s Theatre, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”

•April 18: $5 Movie: “Purple Rain,” 3 and 7:30 p.m.

Coming soon at the ArtWorks Center

•April 12: Handbuilding Coiled Vessels with Emily Wartsbaugh, 6 p.m.

•April 13: An Evening with James Wegner, 6:30 p.m.

•April 14: Family Art Studio, 1-3 p.m.