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Summer Stock: Willy Wonka

charlie, grandparents, mother in Willy Wonka
Last week was the final performance of my daughter’s summer at Middlesex County College Theater Camp. The children performed Willie Wonka, based on the first movie, the one with Gene Wilder and many great songs like Oompa, Loompa, Doopa De Do. The scene above shows Charlie, who is poor and wants to win a Golden Ticket to visit Mr. Wonka’s factory, his mother and his four grandparents (in the bed).

When you have read the book, sometimes movie or play versions can be a little irritating. In this play, Charlie throws down the chocolate bar when he doesn’t find a Golden Ticket in it. In the book, he savored every morsel of a chocolate bar; he would never throw one down. I tried to explain that to my daughter, and since we own the book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, she was able to read that scene for herself.

grandparents of Charlie
You can see all of Charlie’s grandparents wearing white nightgowns. In one scene when all the grandparents are in the factory, they and Charlie float upward. This was accomplished by turning off the lights, and teenagers wearing dark colors came in and held each grandparent up. Since the grandparents and Charlie were wearing white, they glowed, and they really looked like they were floating. Clever!

psychiatrist with patient
In this scene, a patient sits on the couch and tells of her dream of finding a golden ticket while her psychoanalyst listens.

I want a golden ticket - where is the ticket
One minute later the analyst is demanding to know where the ticket is. She chases her patient off the stage demanding.

Veruca and sister
My daughter played one of Veruca Salt’s sisters. Here they are, looking rich and snobby on the stage.

singers Veruca Salt and sister
One minute later they break into song.

Willy Wonka
When Willy Wonka finally appears on stage, at first, you think he is a decrepit man who can barely walk. He then jumps into a jig and produces a contract.

Charlie signs Wonka's contract
Charlie is the first to sign; after all, he is poor and has nothing to lose.

Veruca Salt

Veruca Salt wants a hen that lays a golden egg. Her father tries to bargain with Mr. Wonka.

Ellie says

So exciting! Was there real chocolate involved?

Leora says

Nah, no real chocolate! Not like Hershey Park.

hip chick says

It looks like a great play. I know what you mean. It sort of takes away from what the author intended.

Graham says

Great photos, Leora! It was a good show (my daughter was in it too, playing an oompa loompa). While they still have the Broadway spectacular to do, I think the best show of the entire Summer was "The Rotten Princess" in the first session. It was cleverly written and directed, with the director spending most of the show actually on the stage, directing and cueing the actors as part of the show. My Wife and I thought it was the best kids' show we'd ever seen.

Leora says

Graham, if I had known your daughter was in the show, I would have aimed to take a few pics of her, as well. I took a break whenever the Oompa Loompas appeared, as none of my daughter's friends were in that group.

Looking forward already to next summer - my daughter plans to go again, at least for three weeks.

Carver says

What fun seeing your shots from the play. I know it was fun for all involved.

Michelle says

I miss going and seeing things like this...maybe with grandchildren.. Your daughter and the group look like they did a wonderful job and probably had so much fun...also a self-esteem booster....

Robin from Israel says

What a fun play for them to choose, I love the original version, especially the Oompa Loompa song. I hated that they cut that in the Johnny Depp version. Your daughter looks like she's really blossoming in theater camp, such a joy to watch.

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Sara says

Maybe I need to find that book and read it again! I remember reading it...gosh, it seems like it was back in the late 1960's...can that be right? I was in high school or junior college at the time.

Leora says

Yes, I do believe it was written in the 1960's. Great book. I looked it up - published in the U.S. in 1964.

Ilana-Davita says

It is great to see how happy the performers seem to be!

Mama Pajama says

fun! glad they had a successful performance!