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

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!!

Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati presents Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka Jr. GIVEAWAY CLOSED

Willy Wonka Bob Herzog


I love Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.  My kids have watched both the Johnny Depp and Gene Wilder versions on television many times and now they can’t wait to watch it at The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati in April!  They are also pretty excited to see Local 12’s Bob Herzog in the role of Willy Wonka since they’ve heard many of his hilarious Dance Party Friday songs.  I have to admit that I’m pretty excited about that too!

Here’s what The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati has to say about the show:

The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati ends its 89th MainStage Season with ROALD DAHL’S WILLY WONKA JR. directed and choreographed by Jay Goodlett.  Roald Dahl’s timeless story of the world-famous candy man and his quest to find an heir comes to life in this stage adaptation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which features the songs from the classic family film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.  LOCAL 12′s Bob Herzog will play the famous chocolatier, Mr. Willy Wonka, in the production.

“Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka JR.” follows enigmatic candy manufacturer Willy Wonka as he stages a contest by hiding five golden tickets in five of his scrumptious candy bars. Whoever comes up with these tickets will win a free tour of the Wonka factory, as well as a lifetime supply of candy. Four of the five winning children are insufferable brats: the fifth is a likeable young lad named Charlie Bucket who takes the tour in the company of his equally amiable grandfather. The children must learn to follow Mr. Wonka’s rules in the factory–or suffer the consequences.


Ticket and show information:

Friday, April 4 at 7:30 PM

Saturday, April 5 at 2 PM

Saturday, April 5 at 5 PM

Sunday, April 6 at 2 PM

Saturday, April 12 at 2 PM

Taft Theatre isimage003 located at 5th and Sycamore Streets in Downtown Cincinnati Tickets range in price from $7-$25 and may be ordered by calling 1-800-745-3000 or on line at

Would you like to win tickets?  I have a family four pack of tickets to the Friday April April 4th 7:30pm show to give away to one lucky winner!  Make sure you can attend this performance before entering, as tickets cannot be exchanged.


Leave one comment for each entry, include an email address.  Participants must be 18 years of age and live in the surrounding area.  The winner will be announced Friday March 28th at 8:00pm.  Once announced, the winner will have 24 hours to respond or another winner will be randomly selected.  Tickets will be mailed to the winner before the show.

How to enter (Leave ONE comment for EACH entry):

Good luck!

Disclaimer:  My family was provided with tickets to this show by The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati in exchange for a giveaway and review.  All opinions are 100% my own.