Wilton Children’s Theater’s Willy Wonka Sweetens Up the Weekend
Oompa loompa doompety doo
I’ve got a perfect puzzle for you
Oompa loompa doompety dee
If you are wise you’ll listen to me
The Wilton Children’s Theater (WCT) production of Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka sweetens up this weekend in Wilton as the talented cast of 53 4th-8th graders bring to life the beloved story based on the book, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The three showtimes are this Friday, Nov. 17 at 7 p.m.; Saturday, Nov. 18 at 4 p.m.; and Sunday, Nov. 19 at 2 p.m..
The story finds sweet but very poor Charlie Bucket finding the last of five coveted Golden Tickets, winning a spot for him and his Grandpa Charlie to tour the strangest chocolate factory in the world. The owner, Willy Wonka, leads five young winners and their grown ups in a thrilling and often dangerous tour of his factory. Charlie is being played by Austin Etzbach and Jonah Bates takes on the role of Willy Wonka. Key musical numbers include “The Candy Man,” “I’ve Got a Golden Ticket” and “Pure Imagination.”
Jennifer McNamara and Jen Kepner are producing the show, and Kepner marvels that through all of the moving parts and long hours it takes to make the show happen, the kids are the most dedicated and passionate about the production.
“The kids have to do most of the work and it’s just fun getting to be a part of seeing them shine and have their moment,” she says. “They’ve worked so hard, they really deserve it. It’s a big commitment–three days a week, they get on the school bus at 7 a.m., they’re here until 6:30 p.m., this week they’re here from 3-8 p.m.; they have to learn lines, put themselves out there. I’m just proud to be a part of anything that helps them succeed, because they really work hard.”
Kepner says the show is coming at a perfect time for Wilton.
“We did a #WeAreWilton video, and we said that, ‘We are Wilton Children’s Theater, we are love and imagination. I think this is a show about love and imagination, and we need a little bit of that right now. It’s putting some positivity out into the community, which is really good,” she adds.
Skip Ploss is returning for his 11th season as director; he’s joined by choreographer Judy Abbatiello, who is returning for her 12th year with Wilton Children’s Theater. They are joined by the talented musical director Barbara Speare, who is back for her third year. The set is designed by Brooke Burling who, together with a team of dedicated parent volunteers, has transformed Middlebrook Auditorium into Willy Wonka’s famed chocolate factory. As in previous years, WCT is fortunate to have the expertise of Jim Durkin, from In Phase Audio and Craig Gehr of LX Lighting LLC.
Tickets are $12 each and are available online or in person at the following locations:
On-line tickets are sold through Paypal, and will be available only through Thursday evening.
2. The Village Market
Cash and checks only.
Tuesday, Nov. 14: 11, a.m.-1 p.m.
Wednesday, Nov. 15: 11 a.m.–1 p.m.
Thursday, Nov., 16: 11 am-1 pm
Friday, Nov. 17: 10 a.m.-12 p.m.
3. Middlebrook School
Cash and checks only.
Tuesday, Nov. 14: 3:30 p.m. -4:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Nov. 15: 6:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
Thursday, Nov. 16: 6:30-7:45 p.m.
4. Pre-show at Middlebrook School
Tickets are also available at Middlebrook Cafeteria one hour before each performance, cash and checks only.
Friday, Nov. 17 at 6 p.m. (show time 7 p.m.)
Saturday, Nov. 18 at 3 p.m. (show time 4 p.m.)
Sunday, Nov. 19 at 1 p.m. (show time 2 p.m.)