"Willy Wonka" opens at Harris Center for the Arts on July 7. Courtesy photo


Enter the whacky world of ‘Wonka’

By From page B1 | July 05, 2017

El Dorado Musical Theatre actors invite you to join them on a sweet adventure as they explore the zany and magical world of “Willy Wonka.”

In this fun-filled fantasy, Willy Wonka is searching for an heir to his chocolate factory. Five golden tickets have been hidden in Willy Wonka chocolate bars. The winners, who turn out to be four bratty children and one kindhearted boy, get the tour of a lifetime when they embark on a wild journey through the Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory.

Based on Roald Dahl’s book, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” the story follows an eccentric chocolate maker and four spoiled, disrespectful children, who push the limits and Wonka’s patience. Only one shows the respect and appreciation that Wonka could possibly be looking for in a successor to his chocolate factory — Charlie Bucket.

“The story is such a classic portrayal of cultural literacy, with an important message that character counts,” said director Debbie Wilson

In keeping with the spirit of the Broadway production of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” edible food is being used on the EDMT set for the first time. Sue Baciocco, mom to Joey Baciocco, who plays Willy Wonka in the Caramel cast, has created beautiful, life-like daffodils made out of fondant to be used as sipping cups. The white patches on the toadstool mushrooms are made from cool whip. Red licorice and cotton candy are used throughout.

Wilson describes the production as “a feast for the eyes — beautiful, fun and uplifting, a magical, fantastical journey with a lot of surprises and thrills.”

The animations and the projections are top-notch. Zack Wilson, who most recently played Bert in “Mary Poppins,” is working double time behind the scenes creating the magic for “Willy Wonka.” From shrinking candy and even a boy, to Augustus Gloop being swept into a river of chocolate and up the infamous tube — all this makes “Willy Wonka” a far trickier show to produce.

Ty Rhoades, who plays Willy Wonka in the Chocolate cast, said he likes “How mysterious and creepy Wonka is. He has everything planned and knows what is going to happen before it happens. He’s a fun character to play.”

Rhoades was already a big fan of the Gene Wilder version of “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.” This will be Rhoades’ 16th EDMT show and while not his first leading role, definitely one of his biggest. He said of playing the main character, “It’s more challenging. I like it.”

Hunter Clary plays Grandpa Joe in the Caramel cast. This is Clary’s 11th EDMT production and he said he loves the original movie with Gene Wilder as well, calling it “such a classic.” An added perk to his role is playing a grandpa to his good friend Josh Davis, who plays Charlie Bucket in both casts.  “I like experimenting with playing an older person,” Clary added. “It is a lot of fun.”

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is fun for all ages. Buy your golden ticket, step into your Wonkamobile and head to the Harris Center for the Arts. The Oompa Loompas are waiting.

Music and lyrics for “Willy Wonka” were written by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley. The musical is based on the book titled “Charlie and The Chocolate Factory” written by Roald Dahl and adapted for the stage by Timothy Allen McDonald and Leslie Bricusse.

“Willy Wonka” runs Friday, July 7, through Sunday, July 16, at the Harris Center for the Arts, 10 College Parkway at Folsom Lake College in Folsom. Tickets are $15 to $31 and can be purchased online at harrisscenter.net or by calling the Harris Center ticket office at (916) 608-6888.

Crew and cast

The director is Debbie Wilson with choreographer Kat Bahry, vocal director Heather Clark, costumer Karen McConnell and assistant choreographer Jordan Soto.

Chocolate Cast: Willy Wonka (Ty Rhoades), Charlie Bucket (Josh Davis), Grandpa Joe (Angelo Aceves), Mike Teavee (Andrew Neal), Veruca Salt (Adele Trapp), Violet Beauregarde (Emily Hobbs), Augustus Gloop (Evan Haney), Mr. Bucket (Brandon Bagley), Mrs. Bucket (Hailey Miller), Phineous Trout (Miranda Garver), Ferb Trout (Drew Longaker), Ms. Teavee (Ashley Slavin), Mrs. Gloop (Madeline Yacur), Mrs. Beauregarde (Daphne Huegel), Mr. Salt (Brayden Bambino), Grandpa George, (Lennon Nickels), Grandma Josephina (Emma Majewski), Grandma Georgina (Madeline Sweet), Matilda (Jessica McCloskey), James (Nathan Hansen); Featured Dancers: Abby Robertson, Alyssa Seeley, Brooke Minnie, Emily Chalmers, Jessica McCloskey, Julia Harmon, Katelyn Minnie, Lexi Fuchs, Mackenzie Haar, Megan Sabol. Candy Kids: Featured Dancers, Nathan Hansen, Jason Harmon, Logan Nunn, Tori Turo. Chocolate Dancers, Oompa Loompas, Squirrels, Chefs, Waiters, Camera Crew, People of the Town: Featured Dancers, Candy Kids, Adilynn Seeley, Aidan Goodier, Amaya Pangilinan, Bailey DiMeola, Divya Rao, Elizabeth Dunaway, Elsa Struhs, Emily Beagley, Evan Weishaar, Georgia Freed, Julia Slavin, Katherine Patch, Leah Hughes, Madison Konz, Nathan Bergstrom, Noelle Fisher, Phoebe Frahm, Reese Throckmorton, Ryan Freed, Sarah Schmitz, Skylar Seivane, Timothy Liebreich, Xander Hartzog.

Caramel Cast: Willy Wonka (Joey Baciocco), Charlie Bucket (Josh Davis), Grandpa Joe (Hunter Clary), Mike Teavee (Mikey Jantzen), Veruca Salt (Maya Ribadeneira), Violet Beauregarde (Madeline L’Engle), Augustus Gloop (Cameron Renstrom), Mr. Bucket (Brandon Bagley), Mrs. Bucket (Jenna Williams), Phineous Trout (Tara Castle), Ferb Trout (Drew Longaker), Ms. Teavee (Madison Jantzen), Mrs. Gloop (Kaylee Ambler), Mrs. Beauregarde (Nina Lopes), Mr. Salt (Brayden Bambino), Grandpa George (Sam Kallan), Grandma Josephina (Jessica Ocampo), Grandma Georgina (Lana Moore), Matilda (Sydney L’Engle), James (Jack Bessette); Featured Dancers: Alayna Fredianelli, Alex Wessling, Alexandra Pedego, Ava Burrell, Clare Healey, Eliza Vance, Ella Walsh, Hanna Milton, Sophia Kallan, Sydney L’Engle; Candy Kids: Featured Dancers, Jack Bessette, Tristan Russell, Andrei Villanueva, Leighton L’Engle; Chocolate Dancers, Oompa Loompas, Squirrels, Chefs, Waiters, Camera Crew, People of the Town: Featured Dancers, Candy Kids, Alexandra Witte, Ana Radwan, Bryanna Mann, Claire Suneson, Daisy Knight, Eaden Hamilton, Hallie Rumph, Karina Kazemi, Kayla Catania, Kinnera Tirumala, Landon Johnson, Leah Hendricks, Leia Rudis, Livia Westmoreland, Logan Ross, Madeline Schwartz, Mason Burns, Maxwell Wagner, Molly Henderson, Nicolas Kamuchey, Sofia Wagner, Trista Mann, Violet Clary, William Henderson.

Jana Rossi


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