Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory will end its North American Tour at the Straz Center’s for the Performing Arts from Tuesday October 8 through Sunday, October 13.

Willy Wonka is opening his marvelous and mysterious chocolate factory … to a lucky few. That includes Charlie Bucket, whose bland life is about to burst with color and confection beyond his wildest dreams. He and four other golden ticket winners will embark on a mesmerizing joyride through a world of pure imagination. Now’s your chance to experience the wonders of Wonka like never before – get ready for Oompa-Loompas, incredible inventions, the great glass elevator and more, more, more at this everlasting showstopper!

With direction by three-time Tony Award winner Jack O’Brien, Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory features music by Grammy, Emmy and Tony Award winner Marc Shaiman, lyrics by Grammy and Tony Award winners Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman, a book by Artistic Director of Edinburgh’s Royal Lyceum theatre David Greig, choreography by Tony Award nominee and Emmy Award winner Joshua Bergasse and includes additional songs by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley from the 1971 Warner Bros. motion picture.

Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory features scenic and costume design by five-time Tony Award nominee Mark Thompson, lighting design by four-time Tony Award nominee Japhy Weideman, sound design by Andrew Keister, projection design by Jeff Sugg, puppet and illusion design by Obie and Drama Desk Award winner Basil Twist, orchestrations by three-time Tony Award winner Doug Besterman and music supervision by Nicholas Skilbeck.

The hit Broadway musical features songs from the original film, including “Pure Imagination,” “The Candy Man,” and “I’ve Got a Golden Ticket,” alongside a toe-tapping and ear-tickling new score from the songwriters from Hairspray. Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is produced by Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures (Mark Kaufman), Langley Park Productions (Kevin McCormick) and Neal Street Productions (Sam Mendes, Caro Newling).

It was a pleasure to sit down with Elijah Dillehay (Assistant Dance Captain, Swing, u/s for Augustus Gloop and Mike Teavee). 

Elijah Dillehay (Justin Schuman Photography)

When did the performing bug take a hold of you? 

Well my mom put me in music lessons when I was 7; first piano and then voice. Dance came in high school, because I did Musical Theater there. Later on I trained Ballet. I started performing in regional theater but music is what got me started. 

What was your first professional gig?

I did get paid for the regional theater work I did, but I was too young to ever see it. However, my first show out of college was “West Side Story” in New Hampshire’s “Opera North,” and I get paid for that. 

When did you know performing would be your career?

I ran from it for the longest time as I grew up in a small town. My parents are farmers, and have always been supportive, but never really thought performing would be my future. I originally went to an in state college in Tennessee and studied pre-med. I realized I hated what I was doing, so I left that college and went to dance school, and the rest is history. 

How did you get cast in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory?

A lot of auditions. It started around two years ago…January was the original audition, and I kept getting called back. In May I couldn’t go to the final call back as I was working, so I thought I lost the opportunity. However, a few weeks later I got the call. 

Besides this role, what has been your favorite role?

It really is this show because I swing and I play different roles all the time. And then I understudy for 2 main characters that are polar opposites. It feels like a different show for me every night. 

What’s your dream/fantasy role?

I know I will never play her, but I love the role of Grizabella in “Cats,” because of the drama of the character. It was also the first show I saw as a young kid, and was instrumental in me wanting to be a performer. 

What should our readers expect from the touring company of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory?

I would say one of my favorite things about our cast is diversity. We have a wide array pf people and performers. How they act, sing, and dance. The show is very different from a lot of productions as the principle characters are the big over the top kids and parents, and they require specific actors to be in those roles. 

For more info on Elijah you can go to his website: ElijahDillehay.com or you can follow him at: Instagram.com/eadillehay

To purchase tickets, which start at $41, go to Starzcenter.org or at the box office at: 1010 N. W.C. MacInnes Place Tampa, FL 33602

For more info on the show go to: Charlieonbroadway.com.