A Deliciously Confectionary Musical Sweetens the Elm Street Stage.

Speakeysie News Desk 11/7/2019

Starting November 15th Elm Street Cultural Arts Village enters a world of pure imagination with opening night of Willy Wonka Jr., a sweet treat of a musical that is perfect for the entire family. Mysterious candy manufacturer Willy Wonka stages a contest by hiding golden tickets in five of his scrumptious candy bars. Whomever 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, but the fifth is a likeable young lad named Charlie Bucket. The children must learn to follow Wonka’s rules in the factory — or suffer the consequences. 

“You may think that you know this story inside and out, that nothing new will be shown to you in this hour and a half. Are you sure? Check your imagination. Are you willing to use it?” asks Tom Milley, Director for Willy Wonka Jr. He is no stranger to bringing magic and storytelling to life on stage at Elm Street, previously directing Elephant & Piggie’s “We Are in a Play!” and Fancy Nancy the past two summers. Milley adds that “The young cast and crew are enthused, engaged, and enchanting in their sense of community and their sense of professionalism. I have done a lot of smiling throughout this process and know that you will too.” 

Willy Wonka Jr. utilizes material from both Roald Dahl’s children’s book, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and the 1971 movie-musical adaptation, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. The original film’s composer, Leslie Bricusse, teamed up with Timothy Allen McDonald to write new songs that still had a retro-sounding style from the 1971 film. Audiences 

will instantly recognize classic songs like “Pure Imagination,” “The Candy Man,” and “Oompa Loompa” in a fun and fresh way. 

This production is part of Elm Street’s Spotlight program for students and as such, Willy Wonka Jr. includes a cast of 29 students in 3rd through 8th grade from Cherokee and Cobb County as well as a student-run crew. Director Tom Milley is taken aback by the dedication and passion of his cast, their imagination, as well as their creativity. “You’ll see some young actors that will be going places and you can say you saw them when. As I’ve told my cast, ‘The time is now, the time is WOW!!’” 

The musical runs for one weekend only from November 15th through 17th and is perfect for families and audiences of all ages. Willy Wonka Jr. is rated G and appropriate for all audiences. This production is supported in part by the Georgia Council for the Arts through the appropriations of the Georgia General Assembly. Georgia Council for the Arts also receives support from its partner agency- the National Endowment for the Arts. 

The complete performance schedule is as follows: 

Friday/Saturday November 15th, 16th – 7:30pm 

Saturday November 16th – 2:30pm *Sensory-Friendly Performance 

Sunday November 17th – 2:30pm *ASL-Interpreted 

Tickets are on sale now at http://www.elmstreetarts.org. 

City Center Auditorium 8534 Main St. Woodstock, GA 30188 Call 678.494.4251 for More Information 

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