Review: Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati presents Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka JR.

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Willy Wonka Bob HerzogLast night, the kids and I headed to downtown Cincinnati and caught the opening night performance of Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka JR. at The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati.  It was fantastic.

My kids have seen both screen versions of the show and their school play this year is Willy Wonka, so they were excited to check out this version at Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati.  They were on the edge of their seats with their eyes glued to the stage the entire time, no exaggeration.

My oldest son and I were excited to see Bob Herzog of Local 12 as Willy Wonka, since we both love to watch him in Dance Party Friday.  Herzog did a great job of portraying Willy Wonka as an adult who was really a kid at heart, but was grown up enough to still be irritated by the ill-behaved kids who visited his chocolate factory.  His subtle, or sometimes not so subtle, jabs at their lack of manners was hilarious.  My 6 year old imitated Herzog’s funny strut and grunts for the rest of the night.  He loved his character.

The kids and I especially enjoyed watching the parents and their children take a boat ride down the chocolate river with Willy Wonka followed by ghosts and other spooky specters.  It was creepy, dreamy and very imaginative.  We forgot that we were watching actors on a stage, but were mesmerized by the floating mist and spectacular effects.  After the show, my oldest could not stop talking about the giant ‘scarecrow’ that chased the boat and how cool it was.

Another very cool part of the play was the Oompa-Loompas.  In the original screen version, many actors play the Oompa-Loompas.  In the next version with Johnny Dep, one actor played all 165 (yes, I looked that up) of the Oompa-Loompas.  In The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati version, there are six Oompa-Loompas played by different actors in glow-in-the-dark costumes and crazy glow-in-the-dark wigs.  Each time they came out to sing about the fate of the child who had just been removed from the chocolate factory, they were equally creepy and fascinating.  The singing was on target and the dancing was perfect.  I loved hearing their ‘riddles’.

image003.jpgIf you would like to see Willy Wonka JR., there is still time!  There are two more shows—tomorrow and next Saturday.  Show times are as follows:

Sunday, April 6 at 2 PM

Saturday, April 12 at 2 PM

You can order tickets on line HERE or call (513)569-8080 ext. 10.

Taft Theatre is located at 5th and Sycamore. There is plenty of parking downtown.  Last night we found $5 parking at the Chiquita Center, just a block from the theatre.  We have also parked in a lot right next to the theatre, but that fills up fast!

This was a fantastic way for us to kick off Spring Break.  We hope you can enjoy it too!


Disclaimer:  In exchange for a giveaway and review, my family received tickets to this show.  Rest assured, all opinions are my own.  We truly loved this show!!

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