Performances begin July 9
From the producers of Peter Pan, Shrek and Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Kelrik Productions returns to the Spanos Theatre with a sticky-sweet confection of “pure imagination” in Ronald Dahl’s timeless story, Willy Wonka.
Based on Gene Wilder’s Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971), the play, Willy Wonka, brings the story to the stage in this musical adaptation. Included in this production are some of the classic songs from the oscar-nominated family film such as “pure imagination” and “candy man,” as well as new songs from Leslie Bricusse, who composed the film.
“This is a must see event for the entire family,” says director Tabatha S. Skanes. “Almost everyone is familiar with the movie Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and all of the characters. To see it come alive on stage is a truly special experience for children and adults alike.”
Playing the title role of Willy Wonka is Kelrik’s Artistic Director Erik Austin. “I’ve always gravitated toward characters with character,” he says. “Big, interesting people who reside firmly off the beaten path. I’m excited to be bringing Willy Wonka to life for audiences in a way movies can’t match.” Austin says he is a huge fan of the Gene Wilder film and hopes to pay homage to Mr. Wilder while bringing his own spin to the character. “The original version is a classic that cannot be matched. Like all kids, it was a part of my childhood before I even had a concept of movies as things made by people. They were simply magic that you could watch over and over.” Austin shares one very important characteristic with Wonka “I like chocolate. okay, I really like chocolate. Okay, I once bought a giant, 5 lb. hershey bar and ate the entire thing.”
Sharing the spotlight with Austin is a youth performer, Phineas Peters. This young artist is making his Kelrik debut as protagonist, Charlie Bucket. “Charlie is the eternal optimist,” says director Skanes. “While the other children arrive at the factory driven by greed and a sense of entitlement, Charlie is excited just to be part of the adventure.” his hard-working mother, Mrs. Bucket, is played by Rachel Tiez with todd long portraying grandpa joe.
Joining Charlie in his quest through Wonka’s factory is a quartet of children who personify excess at it’s worst. Eliot Peters stars as the aptly named Augustus Gloop, Sophie Long as the materialistic Veruca Salt, Brooke Andris portrays Violet Beauregard, the incessant gum chewer, Drew Vander Weele and Sam Gomez share the role as the technology obsessed Mike Teavee.
Tickets to Willy Wonka can be purchased online at www.kelrikproductions.org and by phone at 805-756-4tix. ticket prices are $20 -$40 with reserved seating. Discounts are available for full-time students, seniors and groups of 15 or more. This fun-filled family show runs approximately 75 minutes which makes it ideal for younger children. Reservations are strongly recommended.
Saturday July 9 @ 7 p.m.
Sunday July 10 @2 p.m.
Friday July 15 @ 7 p.m.
saturday july 16 @2 p.m. & 7 p.m.
The Performing Arts Center Spanos Theatre is located at 1 Grand Avenue in San Luis Obispo.