‘Willy Wonka’ ready for two-week downtown run
Baldwin City’s ‘lotatorium’ is soon to be filled with visions of chocolate and Oompa Loompas.
One golden ticket and Charlie Bucket will be headed to a magic land of sweets. He will travel to his candy paradise with his grandfather and adventures will ensue.
Beginning tonight, the Baldwin City Community Theater will be hosting its summer musical for seven nights during the next 10 days. “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” will begin at 8 p.m. each night. The “lotatorium” is the grass lot located on High Street, between Seventh and Eighth streets.
“I think the cast is ready right now,” director Annette Cook said. “The only thing will be keeping the squirrels past their bed times. If the squirrels don’t come out, it’s because they are hibernating.”
Baldwin’s version of the story will be different than the 1971 movie, starring Gene Wilder. Cook said the plot will be very similar, but the flow of the story is different in the musical.
“It’s a lot different, but not completely different than the movie,” Cook said. “Of course, we’re going to incorporate some of the movie stuff into it, but we have totally made this our own.”
BCCT president Marion Constantinescu said their version will be more similar to the 1971 movie than the 2005 remake “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” which starred Johnny Depp.
“Between the two movies, it’s more like the old one music wise,” he said. “I’m excited about it.”
The musical stars 65 area residents, most of which live in or around Baldwin City. Cook said everyone who tried out received a part in the musical.
Most of the roles were given to children. The majority of the children are either Oompa Loompas or squirrels.
“The squirrels are the ones who raised their hands when we asked who wanted to be a squirrel,” Cook said. “We didn’t really cast them, they volunteered.”
Since the musical stars many children, Cook is expecting large crowds each night. Of course, she also said that depends on Mother Nature, too.
“I guarantee you, this year will have a bigger turnout than last year and we had a lot last year,” she said. “There are so many kids in it, which brings the parents and grandparents. That brings people to the restaurants and is good for the community.”
Tickets are $8 for adults and $6 for children, but children ages 3 and under are free. There will be concessions available at the musical. The show will run Thursday through Sunday and June 11-13.
“We have a whole new group of people and that’s exciting to me,” Cook said. “We’ve been rehearsing for a long time, probably too long.”