Running through Oct. 23, Willy Wonka follows the critically acclaimed Act Too Pro debut production of Mary Poppins, which played to capacity crowds in 2015.
Based on the book by Roald Dahl, Willy Wonka features enchanting songs from the 1971 film and new songs by Leslie Bricusse (Jekyll & Hyde, Doctor Doolittle) and Anthony Newley. This musical features longtime Act Too instructor and collaborator Green, in addition to a collection of local theater favorites, Act Too staff members and students.
According to Sondra Morton, the 2013 First Night Star Award-winning director and founder of Act Too Players, “the delicious adventures experienced by Charlie Bucket on his visit to Willy Wonka’s mysterious Chocolate Factory light up the stage in this captivating musical adaptation.”
In the story, the enigmatic Willy Wonka stages a contest by hiding five Golden Tickets in his candy bars. Whoever finds these tickets wins a free tour of the Factory, as well as a lifetime supply of candy.”
Four of the five winning children are insufferable brats; the fifth is the sunny and loveable Charlie Bucket, accompanied by his spry and amiable grandfather. The children learn to follow Mr. Wonka’s rules along the way – or suffer the consequences.
“We love giving our students opportunities to shine outside the studio, and couldn’t be prouder of the caliber of talent our staff boasts. Willy Wonka is going to be a delicious challenge!” says Megan Murphy Chambers, Act Too Experience manager, who co-directs the production with Morton.
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory was how Morton began her acting career: “I was an Oompa-Loompa, and my mom was the radiant Mrs. Gloop. The movie, the music and the book have always been one of my favorites. Producing this show professionally is certainly a dream come true. This is the show that speaks to my personal motto: “If you want to view paradise, simply look around and view it. Anything you want to, DO IT! Want to change the world, there’s nothing to it. With the recent passing of Gene Wilder, my goal is to honor the greatness that Wilder brought to life.”
Morton takes on the role of Mrs. Gloop in the Act Too Pro production.
2014 First Night Star Award winner Jayme Smith is production stage manager, with Green doing double duty – playing Willy Wonka and providing musical direction.
In addition to Green, the cast includes: Alan Foeder as Charlie Bucket; Ryan Greenawalt as Grandpa Joe; Lisa Gillespie as Grandma Josephine; Corrie Maxwell as Mrs. Bucket; David Arnold as Mr. Bucket, Sondra Morton as Mrs. Gloop; Jackson McCalister as Augustus Gloop; Scott Stewart as Mr. Salt; Maggie Morreale as Veruca Salt; Erica Haines as Mrs. Beauregarde; Lainey McCarter as Violet Beauregarde; Vicki White as Mrs. Teavee; Christopher Burns as Mike Teavee; and Cameron Gilliam as Phineous Troutt.
Oompa Loompas include: Beth Adler, Janie Cook, Layne Foeder, Saorise Parada, Lizzie Park, Cameron Schulz, Roland Schulz and Satchel Strout. Other Children/Ensemble: Joshua Cleveland, Kristin Currie, Abram Guice, Abigail Levy, Tigris Parada and Kelly Whitlow.
For tickets, call the Franklin Theatre box office at (615) 538-2076. For more information about Act Too Pro, go the website at www.ActTooPro.com.