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‘Willy Wonka Kids’ a sweet treat for the family

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By Sara Miller

With so many things packed onto our calendars, it’s often hard to find quality time with the entire family. Why not bring the kids to StageDoor Theatre’s latest production of “Willy Wonka Kids”? Audiences will join StageDoor’s elementary and pre-kindergarten companies as they tell Roald Dahl’s timeless story of the world-famous candy man, Willy Wonka, and his colorful compatriots of both the human, animal and Oompa-Loompa variety.

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The show kicks off with a pre-show presented by the Willy Wonka Candy (W)rappers. These delightful actors range in age from pre-kindergarten to first grade. The (W)rappers, directed by Pat Andres, a teacher at West Jefferson Elementary School, are caught up in a swirling and sweet cacophony of colorful candy as they offer up a special performance of “Willy Wonka Meets Mother Goose.” The (W)rappers are featured throughout the show as well — they are the kids in “The Candy Man” number and the squirrels in the Nut Room who drag Violet Beauregarde away.

The show is composed of two casts with elementary-age children from throughout the mountain schools. The Monday Mimics cast performs four productions the first weekend, May 9-11, and the Tuesday Troupers cast performs four productions during the closing weekend, May 16-18.

“Willy Wonka Kids” follows Roald Dahl’s famous story, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” Willy Wonka, the greatest candy maker in the world, has a problem. It’s time for Wonka to retire, and he gathers the Oompa-Loompas to search for the perfect child to replace him. Wonka hides five Golden Tickets in five of his candy bars. Whoever comes up with these tickets will win a free tour of the Wonka factory and a lifetime supply of candy. Four of the five winning children are insufferable brats; the fifth is a likeable lad, Charlie Bucket, who is joined by his amiable grandfather.

Fans of Dahl’s book may remember that the insufferable brats bring a hilarious variety of personality and misadventure to the story. Audiences will meet the candy-loving Augustus Gloop, spoiled brat Veruca Salt, gum-popping Violet Beauregarde, television-obsessed Mike Teavee and, of course, the lovable Charlie Bucket.

The show is a colorful kaleidoscope of song and dance. Director Joni Havens and musical director Kyrie Biddle have led the actors on a deliciously fun journey. The show’s highlights are the musical numbers, which were made famous in the 1971 film version starring Gene Wilder. Audiences who were fans of the original movie will recognize songs such as “At the Gates of (Pure Imagination),” “Oompa-Loompa” and “I’ve Got a Golden Ticket.”

This scrumptious StageDoor musical is guaranteed to delight everyone's sweet tooth. A ticket to “Willy Wonka Kids” is the golden ticket to family fun at the theater.

Sara Miller, a freelance writer and a resident of Evergreen, lives with her husband, two children and a dog.

 

‘Willy Wonka Kids’

Monday Mimics Cast: May 9-11 at 7 p.m. and May 11 at 3 p.m.

Tuesday Troupers Cast: May 16-18 at 7 p.m. and May 18 at 3 p.m.

At StageDoor Theatre, 25797 Conifer Road in Conifer

Tickets: $8 for students and seniors, $10 for adults

For more information, visit www.StageDoorTheatre.org.