Community Delivers for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

February 14, 2022

Community Delivers for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory brought on the sugar rush as it opened to record-breaking crowds since March of 2020. The latest adaptation of Roald Dahl’s sinister children’s story from 1964, this exposition-crammed premiere scent a wave of confection across the crowd, placing them directly in the thralls of a delightfully fun candy-coated factory. 

With bright, bold colors, vivid stage imagery, and show-stopping antics, like the silly-string paraphernalia that flies across the stage as Violet explodes, Willy Wonka, a.k.a the Candy Man, kept the audience on the edge of their seats and in the palm of his hand. Yet, while the crowd howled as he inserted unexpected delights like “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” and swooned as Charlie Bucket rode up the glass elevator, the true success of the evening could be found in the plethora of brand new bedding for children of Sleep in Heavenly Peace. 

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was a great venue to get the word out about Sleep in Heavenly Peace. It was wonderful to see so many families attending the show and witnessing their support,” said Theresa Swider, Volunteer Application/Delivery Coordinator for Sleep in Heavenly Peace. “Just like the amazing performance of the Oompa Loompas, we’re truly appreciative of the support our generous community and businesses, like Broadway Utica, provide. They make what we do possible.” 

While the Oompa Loompas created a burst of applause, Charlie Bucket tugged on the audience’s heartstrings, much like the readers who learned about Alyssa, a SHP recipient, and mother of four who lost her home and furniture in a fire. 

Audience members watched as penurious but resourceful golden-ticket craving Bucket allowed them into his small, crooked home, packed tight with four grandparents inside a bed, a mother who works back-to-back jobs, and a meal from a humorous and crafty rotten vegetable saleswoman, only to fall in love with his sense of hope and daydream.

When Charlie receives a chance to visit Wonka’s factory, with his, dare we say favorite, Grandpa Joe, a sense of joy extends throughout the crowd. Suddenly the coveted chocolate factory has transformed into a Superbowl-like battle as viewers calculate his competition: Augustus Gloop, a sausage-loving Bavarian, Veruca Salt, a Russian ballerina who’s never heard the word no, Violet Beauregarde, a YouTube star due to her bubble-gum chewing record, and Mike Teavee, a neon sporting gamer who lives for the screen. 

In the end, thousands of purple neon streamers fly through the air in celebration of Charlie’s just desert. It’s a surreal experience that’s left everyone reeling in delight and cheering for Charlie. But, as they exit the Stanley corridor, and past the vast containers of blankets and pillows, they realize that while they were so engrossed in Charlie’s emergence, they’ve actually been rooting for the Buckets of the world all along.  

The Sleep in Heavenly Peace Utica Chapter would like to express our sincere gratitude to the Broadway Theater League of Utica for selecting us as their Beyond The Stage program beneficiary.  We would also like to thank those in attendance at Charlie and the Chocolate Factory who made donations of bedding, gift cards, and cash to Sleep in Heavenly Peace.  Partnering with the Broadway Theater League allowed us to spread the word about Sleep in Heavenly Peace and our mission of building and delivering beds to kids who are sleeping on the floor so that NO KID SLEEPS ON THE FLOOR IN OUR TOWN.” 


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