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Figure skaters take to the ice for 'Willy Wonka'

PLATTSBURGH - Willy Wonka and his lovable band of Oompa Loompas will take center ice next weekend as the Skating Club of the Adirondacks presents "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory Sweeten the Ice."

The nonprofit skating organization will present their performance next Saturday, March 27, at the Plattsburgh State Fieldhouse on Rugar Street. The show, based on the Roald Dahl classic "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," is being put on as the club's annual fundraiser, said director Gayle Roy-Collin.

Though Willy Wonka is a new show for the club to perform, the club has experience with on-ice productions, Roy-Collin noted.

"We used to showcase skaters with programs and solos, but years ago we came together as a club and decided we wanted to involve the community more with something like a play on ice," said Roy-Collin, who added the club has performed more than a dozen such shows.

"This year, we thought Willy Wonka would be a good choice because it shows each character learns a good moral," Roy-Collin added.

The skating club's approximately 180 members - ranging from toddlers to adults - have been rehearsing diligently in recent weeks to prepare for next Saturday, said Roy-Collin.

"And, we've got members from Rouses Point, Champlain, Peru, Elizabethtown, Plattsburgh," said Roy-Collin. "They stream in from many different places in the area."

The performers will skate to narration by WPTZ Newschannel 5's Tom Messner and music coordinated through Entertainment Unlimited. Local musician Benjamin Bright, most recently known for his appearances on Fox's American Idol, is also part of the show this year, giving a live performance.

The show will include music for people of all ages, said Roy-Collin, and even include a rap version of the "Oompa Loompa Song."

"We have some very interesting aspects to the show," she said. "We try to go a different way every year just to try to add something different."

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