Willy Wonka Jr. comes to Boone

Article Published: Jul. 22, 2010 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011
Willy Wonka Jr. comes to Boone

Oompa loompas Hannah Wood and William McKinney strut their stuff next week as Willy Wonka Jr. hits the Harvest House.

Photo by Lauren K. Ohnesorge

If it's not in your head, it soon will be.

Wait for it. It will sneak into your subconscious when you least expect it, bringing with it orange face paint, lyrical morality and, wait, is that a chocolate river I smell?

Oompa loompa doopity dee...

Willy Wonka hits the High Country ...

And he's bringing more than that song you can't get out of your head.

In this junior version, Willy Wonka Jr., presented by Blue Ridge Community Theatre, area kids have the chance to dazzle and the community gets its first taste of the sweetness next week.

In the meantime, it's a hectic life for director Amy Beane. Not only is she responsible for bringing to life Roald Dahl's classic book, "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," but she's also responsible for wrangling 38 children into a choreographed line for all those "doopity doos."

"We make it easier than it has to be, which is good. We try to separate them into age groups," she laughed.

For Beane, whose day life as a teacher prepared her to take the reins, it's worth the trouble to bring the story to the stage.

"We wanted to do a family show," she said.


"I like this show because it uses not just the kids, but the parents, as well," she said.

All ages, from 5 to grandparent, are utilized in the show that includes singing, dance numbers and, of course, a whole lot of Willy Wonka.

Nick Donchak is thrilled to take on the Wonka role made famous by Gene Wilder in the classic movie.

"The zaniness of Wonka himself, it's just a perfect character for any character actor to play," he said.

And he can't wait to prance across the stage.

The story is simple. Chocolate mogul Willy Wonka is opening his secret factory, but only to a select few who find a golden ticket inside a candy bar wrapper. Ticket holders include the spoiled rotten (literally) Veruca Salt (Laura McKinney), gluttonous Augustus Gloop (Christian Underwood), gum chewer Violet Beauregarde (Lindsey Cole), television slave Mike Teavee (Mac Waters) and the impoverished, but optimistic protagonist, Charlie Bucket (Olivia Michael).

Add in 11 oompa loompas, seven candy shop kids, three trout, two squirrels and the adults, and you've got the makings of a production the High Country won't soon forget.

"Willy Wonka, Jr." happens July 30 and 21 at 7 p.m. and Aug. 1 at 3 p.m. at the Harvest House Performing Arts Center (next to the bowling alley) in Boone.

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