Tonight in Detroit you can once again blame your parents. The punchline for the Oompa Loompa’s many songs dealing with Charlie and his competing four brats for the keys to the fabled chocolate factor is “The mother and the father.”
I was only six years old when this classic film premiered and I remember nodding my head in the theater thinking, “Yeah, the little creepy orange guys are right. Those kids are spoiled rotten.” Perhaps it was some kind of smugness that I would later have a stuffy professor explain to me as the same joy that the Greeks took in tragedies–“Whew, glad that’s Oedipus and not me!”
At Detroit’s historic Redford Theatre this afternoon and tonight, you can not only see the film again in a classic 1920’s theater, complete with organ recitals before the show and during intermission just like they had for the silent films.
And special guests include the actors who played Charlie himself (Peter Ostrum) as well as the soon-to-be-shrunk, Mike Teevee (Paris Themmen). One can only wonder at the forty years of silly questions they’ve had to answer.
Anthony Newley’s catchy songs (similar to his score of Dr. Doolittle) have locked themselves into the three generations’ subconsciousness–my favorite, Jack Albertson’s pajama song, “I’ve Got a Golden Ticket,” most recently re-used for a DirectTV add for the NFL’s “Sunday Ticket.”
If you haven’t had the chance yet to visit one of Detroit’s gems, grab the kids, grandkids and head down Lahser just north of Grand River and be taken back to psychedelic boat rides, clogged chocolate drains and giant blueberries.
Hope you can make it. We’re going to be at the 8pm show!