Roald Dahl’s CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY is on tour and headed to Juanita K. Hammons Hall. This delicious tale blends everyone’s favorite characters from the classic book with songs from the beloved film to create a delectable live full-scale Broadway production. We asked some of the company members about their experience touring with the show – first up, meet Anthony DaSilva!
ANTHONY DaSILVA (Swing) is thrilled to be making his national tour debut with this incredible cast and crew. Recent: Newsies the Musical (Albert, The Gateway), Altar Boyz (Luke, Forestburgh Playhouse). BFA Musical Theatre, Montclair State University. Thanks to Matt, ACD, About Artists, friends, and family. LINK. @antthology
What was your path to becoming a professional actor?
When I was seven years old I saw Beauty & The Beast on Broadway, and after seeing Gary Beach perform “Be Our Guest,” I was pretty much hooked. After many years of school plays, I decided to go to school for engineering. I know.
After two years and many nights of pulling my heart out over calculus, I decided I had to follow my heart. I left school and decided I was going to pursue a career as an actor.
Four and a half years later – after many dance classes, a few summer stock gigs, and a BFA from Montclair State University (Go Redhawks!) – I’m in the Factory.
What was the audition process like for this show?
My audition process for this show is a perfect example of both “what’s meant for you will be for you,” and “everything happens in its time.”
I auditioned initially for the show back in March/April of 2020 when the company put out a call for a new ensemble member to cover Mike Teavee. Let’s just say Mike Teavee is not the track for me. Later in the year, after working with the Assistant Director, Anthony Daniel, at the Forestburgh Playhouse in Upstate NY, I was called in for the show again because both he and the Director, Matt Lenz, thought I would be a great addition to the factory. Then, in September of last year, an additional swing track was added to the show and I was cast.
What’s your favorite part about touring the country with CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY?
My favorite part of touring with Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is having the opportunity to see so many cities all over the country. Before this job, I had never worked outside of the NY/NJ area, so it’s been amazing to see all of these beautiful theaters and try over 30 local coffee shops (and counting – send recommendations to @antthology if we’re coming to a city near you) across the nation.
What has it been like to return to the stage after a nearly two-year break?
As cliché as it is to say, theater is magic. I think about the thousands of kids that have seen us over the past few months and every time I start to tear up. What we do is so incredibly special. So, after the two-year hiatus, I can only say that grateful is an understatement. Being on stage and telling stories – especially this one – feels like home.
What do you enjoy most about performing as a swing in this show?
I have the awesome opportunity of approaching this show from a variety of angles. That’s what makes the job of a swing both incredibly difficult and extremely gratifying.
On any given night, I can portray anything from a grouchy, bedridden, “reprobate” of a grandfather to a quirky news reporter who takes his job a bit too seriously. Throw in an Oompa-Loompa and a Bavarian slap dancer and you’ve got yourself a normal night at The Factory. We have to become masters at puzzles. Except, instead of cardboard pieces they’re humans singing and dancing.
What has the audience reaction been to CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY?
Audiences across the country have seemed to really love our show. I can’t say I blame them, but I may be a bit biased. The show is just exploding with bold colors, magnetic music, dazzling choreography, and some serious cocoa craziness. Our company is brilliant, and between the cast onstage and the incredible crew offstage, we create a beautiful show that “must be believed to be seen.” HA. I had to.
Favorite Wonka candy?
The Wonka Toffee Surprise. Obviously.
What item can’t you live without while on tour?
My hydroflask. Hydrate or diedrate!
If you weren’t an actor, what profession would you pursue?
Honestly, in all seriousness, I would love to be a pastry chef.
I can’t stay away from chocolate.
Right now, it’s a battle to the death between Don Lockwood in Singin’ in the Rain and Younger Brother in Ragtime.
CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY comes to Springfield for three performances at Juanita K. Hammons Hall – Saturday, 2/19 at 2pm and 7:30pm, and Sunday, 2/20 at 2pm. Tickets are available at HammonsHall.com/Charlie, at the Hammons Hall box office, or by calling 417-836-7678. See you there!