Willy Wonka Performance Begins Friday Nov. 24

Front row L to R- Hannah Wolk, Rachel Brzezicki, Alex Dornenburg, Hunter Gondeck, Lake Veasey. Back row L to R- Steve Haber, Julia Free, Sharon Buchanan, Andrew Hall, David Hall, Eric Hamilton, Devon Lynch,Richard Gallo, Melanie Newark, Curtis Howard, Lauren David, Sarah Haydu, Hadley O’Day, Michael Walls, Jody Veasey. Not pictured George and Carole Mason.

Second Street Players are in their finals days of preparation for their production of Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka to premier on Friday, November 23, the day after Thanksgiving. The show runs for two weekends with performances on Nov. 23, 24, 25, 30 and Dec 1 and 2.  The Friday and Saturday shows begin at 8 pm and the Sunday matinees begin at 3 pm.

In the colorful musical, candy maker Willy Wonka stages a contest by hiding golden tickets in five of his scrumptious candy bars.  Whoever comes up with these tickets will win a free tour of the Wonka factory, as well as a lifetime supply of candy.  The play combines elements of both Roald Dahl’s book “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and of the 1971 movie, “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory” with much newly created material and songs.

“Willy Wonka” features all the favorite songs from the film “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” such as “The Candy Man,” “Pure Imagination,” “Oompa Loompa” and “I Want it Now.”

Show director Susan Newark, from Staytonville, has worked with a cast of more than 20, from young children making their stage debut to experienced adult actors and actresses.  After many years of production experience with the Second Street Players this will be Susan’s first show as Director.

“I have been very lucky because I have a great Assistant Director and an entire production staff and crew to support me,” commented Ms. Newark. “ I chose this show because it is a fun, family-oriented show and I am very excited because we have a lot of families on stage acting together. The cast has performed very well so far and we cannot wait until opening night.”

Thirteen-year-old Devon Lynch of Georgetown plays the part of Charlie Bucket, the main protagonist followed throughout the play. Following in the footsteps of his two older brothers, Devon has been acting since the age of 9.

“I love the role of Charlie and the kind of shy quality that Charlie has,” commented Devon. “I really like the relationship he has with Grandpa Joe. My favorite scene has to be when everyone meets for the first time in the factory and the characters introduce themselves and react to each other.”

Eric Hamilton of Magnolia will be playing Willy Wonka as he takes on a role that has held many high expectations over the years. He has been wanting to perform this show for 8 years since he attended PolyTech High School in the early 2000’s and will now finally have his chance as the main star.

“It is challenging because everyone has their own expectations for the role whether it is from the first movie or the movie featuring Johnny Depp,” commented Hamilton. “The role is actually a lot of fun, I get to be mean to kids and nobody questions it,” he laughs.

Roald Dahl’s “Willy Wonka” (Theatre for Young Audiences version) is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International.  The production is made possible, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency dedicated to nurturing and supporting the arts in Delaware, in partnership with the National Endowments of the Arts.

Tickets are still on sale for Second Street Players’ holiday production of the musical, “Willy Wonka,” opening on Friday, November 23, the day after Thanksgiving. Shows are performed at Riverfront Theatre, 2 S. Walnut Street in downtown Milford, Delaware.  Reserved tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for children ages 12 and under.  For more information about the show, or to reserve your tickets, visit Second Street Players online at secondstreetplayers.com.  Tickets may also be purchased by calling Brown Paper Tickets at 1-800-838-3006.