Arts & Culture

Golden Ticket Brings UK Alum Back to Lexington on ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ National Tour

photo of tour company of "Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" with Audrey Belle Adams
photo of Audrey Belle Adams (seated center) performing in "The Barber of Seville" with UK Opera Theatre
photo of Audrey Belle Adams (left) performing a duet in "It's a Grand Night for Singing!"

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 12, 2021)  University of Kentucky vocal performance graduate Audrey Belle Adams comes to town this weekend as part of the national tour of “Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” Local audiences with this “golden ticket” can catch Adams portray Mrs. Gloop as the popular musical takes the stage Nov. 12-14, at the Lexington Opera House.

Roald Dahl's amazing tale is described as the perfect recipe for a delectable treat: songs from the original film, “Willy Wonka,” including "Pure Imagination," "The Candy Man" and "I've Got a Golden Ticket," alongside a new score from the songwriters of “Hairspray.” As the story goes, Wonka is opening his marvelous and mysterious chocolate factory to a lucky few, including Charlie Bucket and four other golden ticket winners. Join the cast as they embark on a mesmerizing joyride through a “world of pure imagination” and experience for yourself the wonders of Wonka like never before — from Oompa-Loompas to incredible inventions, the great glass elevator and more.

Adams previously performed on the Lexington Opera House stage with UK Opera Theatre and in The LEX’s productions of “Songs for a New World”; “Legally Blonde,” directed by Laura Bell Bundy; and “Mary Poppins.” Originally from Louisville, Kentucky, Adams was a 2015 Alltech Scholarship recipient at UK. Throughout her time in the UK Opera Theatre program, she appeared in “It’s a Grand Night for Singing,” “Ragtime,” “The Barber of Seville,” “The Old Maid and the Thief” and “Amahl and the Night Visitors.”

“I talk about UK and Lexington every day to colleagues in New York, and I get prouder sharing my experiences and opportunities I had at UK every single day,” Adams told UK College of Fine Arts not long after her graduation in 2019. “The attention and appreciation of the arts is very much alive and well in Lexington and I could not be more grateful that I learned and performed with some of the greatest while in Kentucky. The UK Opera Theatre and The Lexington Theatre Company were fundamental in my undergraduate training, and are the reason why I have the confidence … I love my Kentucky home, and I am thankful for the arts community that surrounds it.”

Since graduating UK, Adams has appeared in Frank Wildhorn’s “The Song of Bernadette” and “FRANKIE! The Musical” (244 Theatre) in New York City.

UK Opera Theatre is part of the School of Music at the UK College of Fine Arts. The school has garnered a national reputation for high-caliber education in opera, choral and instrumental music performance, as well as music education, music therapy, composition and theory and music history.

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.