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A sweet performance: Ambitious Wonka musical wows audience

Staff writer

Parked cars almost reached Nickerson St. as families packed into Marion schools’ Performing Arts Center for the premiere night of “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.”

Marion High School’s spring musical was staged Friday and Saturday night by a large crew both front and back stage.

More than 40 Oompa Loompas in full orange face paint and neon green hair dye switched between doing musical numbers, playing off the main characters, and helping change scenes.

“I love all of it,” Oompa Loompa leader Quade Williams said. “It’s a great cast of characters.”

Charlie Bucket was the last role at Marion High School for senior Hannah Stubenhofer-May.

“We were practicing the play for two months,” Stubenhofer-May said. “Usually, for musicals, it’s three months. Musicals take a lot of practice.”

Senior Christian Albin played Willy Wonka and also assisted organizer Ruth Springer as a student director.

“Theater has helped me grow in confidence and leadership, helped me with social skills, and helped me express myself more,” Albin said in a note in the playbill. “I am looking forward to seeing where college will take me, and how my abilities on stage will evolve.”

Favorite scenes among cast members were a chocolate river scene — accomplished by Jordy Raymer (as Augustus Gloop) “tripping” into the river and army-crawling into a tube — and a blueberry scene — in which Alyera Koehn (as Violet Beauregard) quick-changed into a slowly inflating costume moments after chewing prototype gum.

Salsbury Sweets donated cotton candy for students to sell in a “sweet shop” before the show.

Chocolate treats and boxes of candy were thrown to the audience during the last scene of the musical.

Last modified March 9, 2022

 

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