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TUESDAY

Some may call Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory a classic family musical, but I call it a sugar-cube trip gone horribly, horribly wrong. Mel Stuart’s 1971 musical adaptation of Roald Dahl’s children’s book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory starts out innocently enough: singing candy-store clerks, a mysterious confectioner’s contest, and a bright-eyed lad brimming with youthful enthusiasm. But then, around the time crazy old Willy’s scheme drives the world into an orgiastic frenzy of chocolate-bar consumption, Stuart’s film really starts, er, kicking in. Suddenly, a bunch of green-haired midgets are jumping around all over the place, and you’re face-to-face with a curly-haired freak in a purple suit who, for the price of one “golden ticket,” will take you on a psychedelic boat ride of death. As long as Gene Wilder’s menacing portrayal of the singing candy man (pictured) who turns disobedient children into human blueberries doesn’t leave you begging forgiveness from a box of Little Debbie snack cakes for a life’s worth of sweet-toothed transgressions (as happened to, uh, a friend of mine), you’ll be OK. Dahl’s black-comedy-laden script, an Oscar-nominated score, and Harper Goff’s vividly colorful set design (which I found particularly captivating, despite having watched the movie on a black-and-white television) create a fantastical world enjoyable to those of all ages and mental states. The film screens as part of the “7th Annual Comcast Outdoor Film Festival” at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 19, at Strathmore Hall Arts Center, 10701 Rockville Pike, Rockville. Free. (301) 530-0540. (Matthew Borlik)