Archive for Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Willy Wonka’ musical brings familiar world to BLHS stage

Augustus Gloop, portrayed by Basehor-Linwood High School senior Trevor Hickman, cowers after being discovered eating from a river of chocolate during a rehearsal Tuesday night for “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” this year’s BLHS musical.

Augustus Gloop, portrayed by Basehor-Linwood High School senior Trevor Hickman, cowers after being discovered eating from a river of chocolate during a rehearsal Tuesday night for “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” this year’s BLHS musical.

November 9, 2011

'Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory'

Performances: 7 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday at Basehor-Linwood High School

Tickets: $5 for adults, $4 for students, children and seniors

The cast

Willy Wonka/Candy Man: Alexander Pedroza

Phineous Trout: Brooklyn Hogfoss

Charlie Bucket: Ethan Duffey

Mrs. Bucket: Heather Francis

Mr. Bucket: Patrick McKechnie

Grandma Josephine: Rachel Bennett

Grandma Georgina: Jessica Morris

Grandpa George: Caleb VanBeber

Grandpa Joe: Lucas Carmitchel

Augustus Gloop: Trevor Hickman

Mrs. Gloop: Sarah Jacobs

Veruca Salt: Hayley Webb

Mr. Salt: Tyler Fritts

Mike Teavee: Dylan Burton

Ms. Teavee: Danielle Ridder

Violet Beauregarde: Kellie Goss

Mrs. Beauregarde: Alexis Frank

Head Oompa Loompa: Danae Leppke

Oompa Loompa second-in-command: Chellcy Miller

Jaimie: Courtney Payne

Matilda: Alex Bright

High school chorus (Oompa Loompas, cooks and kids): Lindsey Laney, Danae Leppke, Allison Magana, Chellcy Miller, Courtney Payne, Alyssa Rucker, Lindsay Taylor

Pit orchestra: Alex Bright, Madison Howard, Sean Potter, Mary Beth Pedroza, Gabe Potter, Haley Stallbaumer, Rachel Suarez, Mario Vlasic, Matt Ogilvie

Squirrels: Carley Bernard, Grace Himpel, Mayzie Mangos, Abby Otten, Mila Seaton, Cohen Suchy

Cook chorus: Claudia Jacobs, Erin Laney, Ava Seaton, Abigail Shif, Riley Tinder

Oompa Loompa chorus: Tucker Dixon, Kaitlyn George, Haley Gallet, Nikki Jay, Riley Pembleton, Sierra Salazar, Isaiah Siegfreid, Alyssa Sitzmann, Britney Smith

After Ethan Duffey heard that Basehor-Linwood High School's musical this year would be “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” he thought it would be fun to play an Oompa Loompa.

Duffey, a senior at BLHS, had never acted before. So when he found out after his audition that he'd be playing the lead role of Charlie Bucket rather than one of the singing, diminutive factory workers, he was surprised.

“I had to transform from a creepy creature into a 5-year-old kid,” Duffey said.

Performing alongside Duffey at the show, set for 7 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the high school, will be senior Alexander Pedroza in the role of Willy Wonka. It will be Pedroza's third big role in a BLHS musical, after he portrayed the Cat in the Hat in “Seussical” in 2010 and Lumiere in “Beauty and the Beast” in 2009.

Director Rebecca Knowles said it had been fun to see the two actors work together.

“Alexander's furthering his acting and doing better than I've ever seen him act,” Knowles said, “and then Ethan, coming from really no acting background, is just embracing the character.”

Pedroza said Willy Wonka was a nice contrast to the previous characters he'd played.

“Now, I'm just a crazy person,” he said. “It's pretty awesome. I like the variety.”

He said his character was based on Gene Wilder's portrayal in the 1971 “Wonka” movie, though he leaned closer to Johnny Depp's character from the 2005 film version in some songs. The musical uses some material from both films, which were based on Roald Dahl's 1964 book “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”

“It takes little bits and pieces from each, but it's its entirely own show,” Pedroza said.

Junior Dylan Burton, who plays Mike Teavee in the show, said that the familiar source material would help make it a good family event.

“Kids will like it, and so will adults,” Burton said. “It's, like, a classic.”

Knowles said the show was the biggest, most complex production the school had put on. Students in a new play production class have designed and built a variety of elaborate sets, and about 20 middle-school and elementary-school students helped fill out the cast. Altogether, about 85 students have contributed to the show in one way or another, she said.

Senior Hayley Webb, who plays Veruca Salt in the musical, said she'd enjoyed working with the grade-schoolers, who play Oompa Loompas as well as a group of squirrels with whom Veruca has a run-in.

“I love how enthusiastic they are about their parts,” Webb said. “They're out there, and they want to do a good job.”

Tickets for “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” are $5 for adults and $4 for students, children and senior citizens. The show begins at 7 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and doors to the BLHS auditorium will open at 6:30 each night.

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