Arts & Culture

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

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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.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.