Moffat County High School’s ‘Willy Wonka’ a sweet sensation of a show | CraigDailyPress.com

Moffat County High School’s ‘Willy Wonka’ a sweet sensation of a show

The title character of Moffat County High School's production "Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka," played by Jeremy Looper, stands center stage outside the factory gates along with the golden ticket winners, clockwise from upper right, Veruca Salt (Madelaine Petersen), Augusta Gloop (Courtney Smith), Charlie Bucket (Dylan Kernen), Mike Teavee (Aaron Hill) and Violet Beauregarde (Laura Bolton). The musical features shows at 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday in the MCHS auditorium, 900 Finley Lane.

A night out at the theater is rarely a wasted evening, but the Moffat County High SchoolMoffat County High School drama program intends to make admission to its latest show truly a golden ticket. drama program intends to make admission to its latest show truly a golden ticket.

Moffat County High School drama program intends to make admission to its latest show truly a golden ticket.

"Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka" Cast and Crew

Cast:

Willy Wonka: Jeremy Looper

Charlie Bucket: Dylan Kernen

Grandpa Joe: Sambu Shrestha

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Augusta Gloop: Courtney Smith

Violet Beauregarde: Laura Bolton

Veruca Salt: Madelaine Petersen

Mike Teavee: Aaron Hill

Mrs. Bucket: McKenzie Hanson

Mr. Bucket: Constantine Daniels

Candy Man: Carter Ogden

Phineous Trout: Katie Haskins

Grandma Josephine: Abigail Fritz

Grandma Georgina: Nikki Prestangen

Grandpa George: Randy Looper

Mrs. Salt: Olivia Neece

Ms. Teavee: Jayda Erikson

Mrs. Gloop: Christa Bird

Mrs. Beauregarde: Ashleigh Wheeler

Oompa Loompas: Jerzey Landa, Ally Lewis, Tess Willems, Andy Hall, Savana Dickhaut, Joelle Kenney, Draken Blackwing

Children: Rachel Updike, Tessona Gonzalez

Pit Orchestra:

Pearl Wyman

Andrea Fernandez

Molly Neton

Sam Walls

Marie Bolton

Millie Fritz

Jade Holman

Kimberly Driggs

Rachel Bolton

Ben Stoddard

Nick Pugh

Technical Crew:

John Cutler

Devin McIntosh

Hunter Petree

Jacinda Newkirk

Tyler Driggs

Stayton Moseby

Costumes, Sets:

Melinda Hall, Randy Looper, Cindy Looper, Kellie Looper

Musical Director

John Bolton

Stage Manager:

Nikki Prestangen

Director:

Grace Pomeleo

"Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka" unveils a world of magic and merriment this week with performances at 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday and shows at 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday at MCHS. Tickets are $7 apiece.

There are as many stage versions of the classic children's tale— adapted from Roald Dahl's book, "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" — as there are varieties of candy on a store shelf, but each remains the same in the basic premise: eccentric confectionary genius Willy Wonka (Jeremy Looper) hosts a worldwide contest allowing five winners to take a tour of his mysterious factory and also claim a lifetime supply of chocolate.

Among the lucky few are overeater Augusta Gloop (Courtney Smith), record gum-chewer Violet Beauregarde (Laura Bolton), world-class brat Veruca Salt (Madelaine Petersen), electronics enthusiast Mike Teavee (Aaron Hill) and Charlie Bucket (Dylan Kernen), a kid who may be dirt poor but never gives up hope on his dreams.

A cast with far more girls than guys means some parts were gender-reversed, one of which is Smith's, wearing lederhosen and speaking in a German accent under the guise of someone who was originally written as a boy.

"It's kind of fun to put my own twist on it," Smith said. "In the movies, they were rude, and I try to play her more as like a cute little kid."

Getting actors to play up the likable or obnoxious elements of their characters is easy, said director Grace Pomeleo. More difficult is pulling off the many special effects.

"There's lot so challenges with this show, the magnitude of sets that we needed, so much building," she said. "It's going to be a big production, totally worth seeing."

Many oddities abound in within the Wonka factory, among them the Oompa Loompas that serve as a chorus as characters make questionable choices that result in hilarious consequences.

"I love the dancing," said Tess Willems, who will play one of the orange-skinned, green-haired factory workers that chime in with choreographed lessons in morality.

The musical aspect includes songs from the 1971 film, such as "Pure Imagination," "I've Got a Golden Ticket" and "I Want It Now!" in addition to tunes more recently added. After using recorded music last year for "Aladdin, Jr.," the drama department will utilize live accompaniment with band director John Bolton leading student musicians in the orchestra pit.

"It's been a re-learning curve, but we've got a good group of kids down here," he said.

Kernen is only a sophomore at MCHS but has been a part of multiple productions already, and the final week of rehearsals leading up to showtime are still somewhat intimidating though less so the more experience he gets.

"It's my fourth show, and it's kind of nice being one of the leaders now that last year's seniors have left. They were my big role models," he said.

Looper is also a regular by now, and though he's not worried about stage fright, stepping into the shoes of the late Gene Wilder, considered by many the definitive Willy Wonka, is still awe-inspiring.

"I'm not normally the lead, so I'm a lot more nervous, but I'm excited for it," he said. "I have a lot to build up to, but I think I can pull off the insanity but also the charming."

Looper added that the audience can expect some familiar parts of the story as well as a few tweaks, all with a great sense of humor.

"There's a lot of different flavors," he smiled.

Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com.Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com.

“Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka” Cast and Crew

Cast:

Willy Wonka: Jeremy Looper

Charlie Bucket: Dylan Kernen

Grandpa Joe: Sambu Shrestha

Augusta Gloop: Courtney Smith

Violet Beauregarde: Laura Bolton

Veruca Salt: Madelaine Petersen

Mike Teavee: Aaron Hill

Mrs. Bucket: McKenzie Hanson

Mr. Bucket: Constantine Daniels

Candy Man: Carter Ogden

Phineous Trout: Katie Haskins

Grandma Josephine: Abigail Fritz

Grandma Georgina: Nikki Prestangen

Grandpa George: Randy Looper

Mrs. Salt: Olivia Neece

Ms. Teavee: Jayda Erikson

Mrs. Gloop: Christa Bird

Mrs. Beauregarde: Ashleigh Wheeler

Oompa Loompas: Jerzey Landa, Ally Lewis, Tess Willems, Andy Hall, Savana Dickhaut, Joelle Kenney, Draken Blackwing

Children: Rachel Updike, Tessona Gonzalez

Pit Orchestra:

Pearl Wyman

Andrea Fernandez

Molly Neton

Sam Walls

Marie Bolton

Millie Fritz

Jade Holman

Kimberly Driggs

Rachel Bolton

Ben Stoddard

Nick Pugh

Technical Crew:

John Cutler

Devin McIntosh

Hunter Petree

Jacinda Newkirk

Tyler Driggs

Stayton Moseby

Costumes, Sets:

Melinda Hall, Randy Looper, Cindy Looper, Kellie Looper

Musical Director

John Bolton

Stage Manager:

Nikki Prestangen

Director:

Grace Pomeleo