Youth group to present "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory"

WESTON -The Weston Playhouse Theatre's Young Company will present "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory", its seventh annual production for young families, based this year on the 1964 children's classic book by Roald Dahl.  

"Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" runs through July 9 at the Weston Rod and Gun Club, north of the Weston Playhouse on Route 100. The play is recommended for children starting at age 5.

Adapted by Richard George, "Charlie..."s the magical tale of a young boy who finds a golden ticket and gets the chance to visit the hidden world of Wonka's magical factory, where chocolate runs in rivers and lessons in self-confidence are the icing on top. The book spawned two major motion pictures, "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" and "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory".

"Charlie..." is performed by Weston's 2011 Young Company, chosen by audition from the nation's top undergraduate musical theatre programs, joined by 10-year-old Eli Eppolito of nearby Londonderry in the role of Charlie.  

The Young Company includes Ally Bonino (Pace University), LilyAnn Carlson (Syracuse University), Spencer Glass (Boston Conservatory), Alexandra Gordon (University of Michigan), Carolyn Malfa (NYU/CAP 21 Conservatory), James Penca (Baldwin College College), and Josh Smith (University of Cincinnati's College Conservatory of Music).

The play will be directed and choreographed by WPTC teaching artist John Hadden (artistic director at Hubbard Hall). Assisting him will be a talented group of Weston veterans: scenic designer Blair Mielnik, lighting designer Brad Peterson, costume designer Megan Camp, sound designer Jeff Human and stage manager Molly Shoemaker.

"We've been having a ball talking about the show in pre-production," Hadden said. "The designers are using an old-time vaudeville approach that gives us that oddball excitement people used to get when 'the show came to town!' There will be a lot of sideshow barking, tricks and flim-flammery (including puppets) that will give audiences a lot to look at, laugh at and think about."

Tickets are $15 for adults and $8 for children under 12. Performances last just over one hour with no intermission.  

For additional information and to reserve seats, call the Playhouse box office at 802-824-5288 or visit the theater's website at www.westonplayhouse.org.

"Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" and the WPTC Young Company program are made possible in part by the Holly Schloerb Endowment Fund and the theater's ever-growing family of supporters. 

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