Willy Wonka Jr
By Karen Hall
The future of Marshall County can be found on the square in Lewisburg this weekend and next, specifically at the Dixie Theatre.
Thirty talented children, from 8 to 15 years old, are putting on "Willy Wonka Jr." and it will delight both young and old.
Three months in the making, the production was nearly perfect during dress rehearsal Tuesday night. Some of the young actors have appeared in as many as 12 productions by the Children's Division of the Marshall County Community Theatre, while others are on stage for the first time. They not only act, sing, and dance, they also change the scenes, expertly shifting from the chocolate factory, to Charlie Bucket's house, to street scenes.
"You all did a lot of really awesome stuff," exclaimed Director and Choreographer Julie Plott speaking to the cast when the dress rehearsal was over.
"I was very pleased," said Musical Director Elise Dumser.
"I'm very proud of you - you guys have worked really hard," added Acting Director Laura Taylor Cox. "What we're doing this week is polishing. Each time it's getting better."
The only special effect used Tuesday night was the bubbles generated from the orchestra pit during the tour of Willy Wonka's chocolate factory. At later rehearsals, smoke and more sound effects will be added.
The inspiration for "Willy Wonka Jr." came from Roald Dahl's 1964 novel, "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," which became a 1971 movie called "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory." The junior version has been adapted to be suitable for a cast made up entirely of children.
Cast members here include Noah Swanson, Matthew Karban, Will Wallace, Chandler Burrow, Paige Fuller, Alli Hobbs, Kimberly Eastep, Jacob Hamilton, Joseph Hamilton, Becca Karban, Cameron Bogle, Laura Beth Brown, Laramie Plott, Savannah Gipson, Madison Newberry, Justice Bogle, Stacie Owen, Hannah Jo Shelton, Finli Hill, Jaime May, Courtney Burrow, Bella Tepedino, Gracie Steely, Brantley Hollingsworth, Hunter Campbell, Jenna Cheatham, Jenna Grace Hill, Andrew Crow, Will Medley, and Alexis Hardrick. The technical director is Allison Mulliniks and the producer is Amy May.
You can see "Willy Wonka Jr." at the Dixie tonight at 7 p.m., and also Saturday, Oct. 27, at the same time. The following weekend there will be three shows: at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 2, and Saturday, Nov. 3, and a matinee performance at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4.
Don't miss seeing these super talented young people - you'll leave the theatre smiling!