Weekend Showcase: Stages Theatre’s “Willy Wonka”
Stages Theatre Company is offering up a summer sweet treat with its version of “Willy Wonka.”
Director and choreographer Nikki Swoboda says people have strong feelings about the character of Willy Wonka. Some want to see Gene Wilder and some want to see Johnny Depp.
“So the biggest challenge I had was finding what’s the Stages version? How do we honor what the story is, but make it our own,” said Swoboda.
Stages Theatre has done just that with its version of Roald Dahl’s “Willy Wonka.”
Logan Bitz Daum plays the title role. He draws on Gene Wilder for inspiration and likes the fantasy elements of the show.
“We live in sort of a pop cultural world right now. Fantasy means like dragons and magic and all those sort of things,” said Daum. “So bringing back our world of fantasy that we presenting here at Stages as kind of like old movie magic, old song and dance magic, has been super fun.”
The story of “Charlie and The Chocolate Factory” is familiar. All characters are represented with a few variations. One character which is lovably recognizable is the spoiled little rich girl, Veruca Salt.
“She has never had any struggles, and so when something doesn’t go her way she gets very angry about it until it does,” said Zoe Hollander, who plays Veruca Salt.
Finally, the Oompa Loompas do not disappoint.
“There are 30 people running around this show for 70 minutes making chaos and eating chocolate,” said Swoboda. “I am proud to have that kind of energy and fun be on our stage throughout the summer.”
Willy Wonka is on stage at Stages Theatre inside the Hopkins Center for the Arts through Sunday, Aug. 4.
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