Mendota Community Theatre to present a sweet treat with “Willy Wonka”

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Cast members rehearse for the upcoming production of “Willy Wonka.” Performances are set for Friday, June 23 and Saturday, June 24 at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, June 25 at 2:30 p.m. at the Mendota High School Auditorium. Tickets are on sale at Sports ‘N Stuff, downtown Mendota, and at the door. Cost is $12 per ticket.

MENDOTA – Mendota Community Theatre’s musical production of Willy Wonka is sure to be a scrumdidilyumptious treat.

Based on Roald Dahl’s timeless story of the world famous candy man and his quest to find an heir, Willy Wonka will be performed at the Mendota High School Auditorium on Friday, June 23 and Saturday, June 24 at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, June 25 at 2:30 p.m.

The stage adaptation of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” by Leslie Bricusse and Timothy Allen McDonald follows the weird and mysterious candy manufacturer, Willy Wonka, played by Payton Gehm, as he stages a contest by hiding golden tickets in five of his scrumptious candy bars. Whoever comes up with these tickets will win a free tour of the Wonka factory, as well as a lifetime supply of candy. Four of the five winning children are insufferable brats: the fifth is a likeable young lass named Charlie Bucket, played by Faith Anderson, who takes the tour in the company of her equally amiable Grandpa Joe, played by Kole Buckley.

In addition to Charlie Bucket, Augustus Gloop, played by Matthew Grenter; Violet Beauregarde, played by Maddy Pappas; Veruca Salt, played by Maya Martin; and Michelle Teavee, played by Flor Delao, are recipients of the coveted golden tickets. The children must learn to follow Mr. Wonka's rules in the factory... or suffer the consequences.

The production will be co-directed by Jennifer Masini and first-time directors, Brady Hughes and Eric Masini.

“For me, the most exciting thing has been seeing this all come together – the music, set pieces, props. As directors, Eric and I are learning about all of the extra thought put into a production. We will be using the projection system and have some great set pieces to create the magical candy factory,” Hughes commented.

The production will feature over 40 cast members. The large cast has opened the door to acting for many youth in the community. “For many cast members this is their first experience in theatre, but they are all doing a good job,” said Hughes.

Cast members include: Dekin Walter as Candy Man, Samantha Masini as Phineous Trout, Katherine Wohrley as Mrs. Bucket, Jacob Stohr as Mr. Bucket, Amy Lewis as Mrs. Gloop, Patrick Foley as Mr. Salt, Cole Enervold as Mr. Teavee, and Karly VanDorsten as Mrs. Beauregarde.

Rounding out the cast are Eulysses Preciado, Sophie Holland, Lily Linden, Olivia Eddy, and Bonnie Hall as Charlie’s Friends; Perri Stachelwitz and Leilani Landeros as Camera Crew for Phineous Trout; Ella Martin, Sophia Pappas, Olivia Ross, Alainie Wittenauer, and Jillian Younger as featured Oompa Loompa soloists; Dessa Komitas as a featured Oompa Loompa dancer; Ella Coss, Natalie Hanaman, Claire Hanson, Kennedy Knaff, Leilani Landeros, and Perri Stachlewitz as Oompa Loompas; Kendall Biers, Skye Burlingame, Riley Cocanour, Emma Elston, Karsyn Klatt, Alayna Nosalik, Amaya Olivas, Eulysses Preciado, and Alex Stremlau as Squirrels; Kendall Biers, Olivia Eddy, Hayley Fitzgerald, Jasmyn Garcia, Bonnie Hall, Sophie Holland, Karsyn Klatt, Lily Linden, Amaya Olivas, and Kayla Shumack as Bubble Girls; Kendall Biers, Skye Burlingame, Riley Cocanour, Emma Elston, Karsyn Klatt, Dessa Komitas, Alayna Nosalik, Amaya Olivas, and Alex Stremlau as Chorus of Cooks; and Hayley Fitzgerald, Jasmyn Garcia, Natalie Hanaman, Claire Hanson, and Kayla Shumack as Townspeople.

Willy Wonka is a family-friendly production into the land of pure imagination, sure to delight everyone’s sweet tooth. “I think there are messages that can speak to all generations,” said Hughes.

But you won’t need to find a golden ticket to see this show! Tickets are on sale at Sports ‘N Stuff, downtown Mendota and at the door. Cost is $12 per ticket.

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