Willy Wonka

Sweet: Berkeley Playhouse's 'Wonka'

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Sometimes when the going gets rough, it's time for a pinch of sweet nostalgia. Or, in this case, a metric ton of sweet nostalgia: through Aug. 19, the Berkeley Playhouse presents Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, a hilarious, heartwarming, and lively take on Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

As the title suggests, Willy Wonka (music and lyrics by Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse; adapted for stage by Leslie Bricusse and Tim McDonald) stays true to the 1971 movie starring Gene Wilder (begone, Burton), with its familiar warnings about spoiled children and themes emphasizing the importance of family over materialistic obsessions. Plus, plenty of dark humor — some of which may go above younger viewers' heads, but is not wasted on older fans of this twisted tale. Read more »