Y-Arts performs a fun ‘Willie Wonka JR’

Thu, 05/23/2024 - 10:30am

Boothbay Region YMCA Y-Arts group performed a rollicking and rousing rendition of “Roal Dahl’s Willy Wonka JR.” on Thursday, May 23 at Lincoln Theater in Damariscotta – the first of two performances with the second set for Friday, May 24.

Fifty-two young actors and actresses – with nearly half of them cast as the memorable Oompa Loompas – put on a fun show with 18 songs highlighting the story.

The three lead performers were Scout Martin as Willy Wonka, Sloan Nelson as Charlie Bucket and Imij Armstead as Grandma Jo. Charlie’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Bucket, were played by Collin Cantillo and Kayla Watts. Grandma Jo, and other members of Charlie’s family, Grandpa George (Ian Michaud), Great-Grandma Josephine (Lina Minzer) and Grandma Georgiana (Corinne Rogers) provided some hilarious moments – especially the gruff outbursts by Grandpa George.

The four other duos who got to tour Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory by finding a golden ticket included Mrs. Gloop (Jessie Ullo) and son Augustus (Gannon Inman), Mr. Salt (Finn Sullivan) and daughter Veruca (Violet Baldwin), Mrs Beauregarde (Samantha Colby) and daughter Violet (Kyleigh Cole), and Ms. Teavee (Fiona Bishop) and son Mike (Oscar Mirabile). The golden ticket winners were introduced by reporter Phineous Trout (Lucie Hollon).

As explained by Music Theater International on its website – for those who have never seen the original 1971 movie – “Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka JR. follows enigmatic candy manufacturer Willy Wonka as he 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, who takes the tour in the company of his equally amiable grandfather. The children must learn to follow Mr. Wonka's rules in the factory – or suffer the consequences.”

The Y-Arts group was once again directed and choreographed by Emily Mirabile. Other major credits were attributed to Damon Leibert, technical director at Lincoln Theater; Spencer Pottle and Ford Harris, spotlight operators; and Nick Mirabile, digital editor, whose work on the background effects on the screen were appreciated by the audience – it was a packed theater on Thursday.