‘The candy man can’ when Columbia actors present ‘Willy Wonka Jr.’

Zoe Sorensen as Willy Wonka, at right, rehearses with Oompa Loompas Lauren Merschat, from left, Lizzie Adcock, Madeline Job, Amy Houdyshell and Siera Salazar. (PHOTO/MISTY MERSCHAT)
Zoe Sorensen as Willy Wonka, at right, rehearses with Oompa Loompas Lauren Merschat, from left, Lizzie Adcock, Madeline Job, Amy Houdyshell and Siera Salazar. (PHOTO/MISTY MERSCHAT)

MADISON – Youngsters are learning lines, finding their stage marks and entering stage left as the Columbia Elementary School Drama Club rehearses to present “Will Wonka Jr.”

The show is the musical stage adaptation of the book, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” by Roald Dahl and features songs from the classic family film, “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.”

“Willy Wonka Jr.” is the timeless story of the world-famous candy man and his quest to find an heir. Gene Wilder starred in the first film, while Johnny Depp performed in the more contemporary version. Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley wrote the score.

For the fourth year, parent volunteer Terrena Mann and teacher sponsor Alison Carvalho are leading the drama club’s production. The cast includes 85 students in grades K-6 at Columbia.

Sixth-grader Zoe Sorensen has the lead role as Willy. Her character stages a contest by hiding five golden tickets in five candy bars. The person who finds the tickets wins a free tour of the Wonka factory and a lifetime supply of candy.

Four of the winners are obnoxious brats played by third-graders Graysen Furber and Carly Parke, fourth-grader Heather Brady and fifth-grader Gavin Newberry.

Fifth-grader Katie Beth Davis portrays the other winner, the likeable Charlie Bucket. Fifth-grader Tyler Bagley plays Bucket’s grandfather. While in the factory, children must follow Wonka’s rules in the factory or suffer the consequences.

Columbia will present the show in the James Clemens High School auditorium. Show times are Feb. 7 at 7 p.m. and Feb. 8 at 2 and 7 p.m.

Tickets are $5. For tickets, visit showtix4u.com or buy tickets at the show. to purchase tickets (which will also be available at the door). All ages $5.

For more information, call Misty Merschat at 703-317-7841 or email to mystik817@gmail.com or visit Facebook/CESDramaClub.

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