The Frederick Middle School Choir’s production of “Willy Wonka Junior” opened last week and was an immediate hit.
Carisa Schreiner and Dawn Mefford led the presentation at 7 p.m. March 9 and 10 at the Fine Arts Auditorium.
Willy Wonka Junior is a play based on the book “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” by Roald Dahl. The music and lyrics are by Leslie Bricusse, Anthony Newley, Lebo M, Mark Mancina, Jay Rifkin and Hans Zimmer.
The play is about a chocolate factory owned by Willy Wonka, played by Carter Norvell.
Wonka decides to let five children tour his factory, to find someone to take over for him. The children who won the five golden tickets are Augustus Gloop played by Kolt Walker, along with his mother Mrs. Gloop, played by Paige Orr; Mike Teavee played by Cade Roady and his mother Mrs. Teavee played by Ariyanna Flores; Veruca Salt played by Caroline Kail and her father Mr. Salt played by Zach Mathews; Violet Beauregarde played by McKinley Blacklock and her mother Mrs. Beauregarde played by Angel Wirries; and Charlie Bucket played by Michelle Gonzalez accompanied by Grandpa Joe played by Cole Waldroop.
Each of the children did something that they’d been told not to do, thus disqualifying them from the prize.
Violet Beauregarde is a chronic gum chewer who can’t resist Wonka’s meal gum even though he told her it wasn’t ready for human consumption. The result was Violet turning into a giant blueberry. Blacklock gave a convincing performance as the whiny, gum chewing brat, who stole the scene. Based on her performance in “Willy Wonka Junior,” Blacklock certainly has a promising future in her school musical career.
Kolt Walker was almost unrecognizable as the chubby Augustus Gloop who practically lived on candy and Paige Orr gave a convincing performance as Mrs. Gloop, the over indulging mother who gave her son anything he wanted. Orr’s Scottish accent along with her delightfully high pitched “mother” voice garnered a lot of laughs from the audience. Orr is another young actor who has a promising career as she moves up to high school choir next year.
The Oompa-Loompas were comprised of sixth-graders who are in their first year of choir. For many of them, this was their first foray into the acting world. The Oompa-Loompas were well received by the audience who laughed and clapped each time they appeared on stage.
Charlie Bucket was played by the talented Michelle Gonzalez. However, Gonzalez was having some vocal trouble due to a cough, so her understudy, Lanee Coleman sang her songs while Gonzalez lip synced. Gonzalez played her part extremely well despite barely having a voice. She knew her lines and emoted well.
As usual, Schreiner and Mefford planned and executed a very well received musical.
Others who helped the play run smoothly included stage managers Jenna Thorton and Caris Challacombe; sound technicians Anna Contreras, Kylie Boehme, Kinley Hicks and Dakoda Harrison; Robert Beck on spotlight, property manager Delia Crawford; director’s assistant Hannah Chandler and many others.
Reach Kathleen Guill at 580-379-0588, ext. 2602.