Muskoka To-DAILY

Rotary/HFA’s ‘Willy Wonka’ tantalizingly sweet treat no chocolate lover, or music theatre lover can resist at Algonquin Theatre

Mark Clairmont | MuskokaTODAILY.com

Photos by Jon Snelson | HFA

HUNTSVILLE The elevator pitch: A sweet kid is lured into a fantastical factory full of Oompa-Loompas, with a promise of chocolate, by an eccentric nut bar in a top hat.

The Oompa-Loompas are the keepers of the chocolate, whose fun puns offer comedic relief.

The Oompa-Loompas are the keepers of the chocolate, whose fun puns offer comedic relief.

Could be creepy. Anywhere else, but on stage, the audience would be calling the Hershey cops on Willy Wonka.

Not in this confectionary rebake of “Charlie and Chocolate Factory,” a.k.a. “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.”

This nutty chocolatier is full of kindness, goodness and sweetness, as he looks via a lottery for a young heir to his renowned candy-making business. Five lucky kids who unwrap a gold ticket in their candy bar get to tour the fun-filled Wonka factory and a chance to feast on a lifetime of crushed cocoa bean products.

Youing Alexia Evans is Charlie and Mike Pearse is Willy Wonka.

Youing Alexia Evans is Charlie and Mike Pearse is Willy Wonka.

Huntsville Rotary and the Huntsville Festival of the Arts mix up a batch of local talent for a ninth year running, in HFA’s 25th season.

With a cast of 50 (including many great young ensemble players) pumped up on chocolate, this tantalizing dreamy, creamy musical tale lights up the stage with more fun than a bag Easter bunnies.

This savoury adventure proves oh, how the “Candy Man” can entertain.

The 1964 British kids book by Roald Dahl comes alive with veteran local actor Mike Pearse taking the lead in a tough role made famous in the movies by Gene Wilder (1971) and Johnny Depp (2005).

Charlie's grandparents share a bed as they listen to his chocolatey dream.

Charlie’s grandparents share a bed as they listen to his chocolatey dream.

Alexia Evans is the protagonist Charlie, whose moral compass is tested and proven true as he/she and her Grandpa Joe taste a tempting prize

Evans’ transformation is  more impressive when you learn she had her life-long locks sheared for the part and her pony-tail donated to the Angel Hair kids cancer program.

It’s directed by song and dance teacher Sarah Vanasse, with Tia Pearse the trusted choreographer. Musical director Neil Barlow has his ‘pit band’ at its best chewing on its licorice sticks.

They say no one gets into Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory and no one gets out.

They say no one gets into Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory and no one gets out.

Get your ticket now for your chance at a gold ticket, a sweet treat for all ages.

The six-show run opens Friday night (March 31) at the Algonquin Theatre, with two weekend runs, including matinees on the Sundays.

Tickets at the Algonquin Theatre: www.algonquintheatre.ca

Showtimes:
Friday, March 31, 2017 – 7:30 PM

Saturday, April 01, 2017 – 7:30 PM

willy logo (Small)Sunday, April 02, 2017 – 2 PM

Friday, April 07, 2017 – 7:30 PM

Saturday, April 08, 2017 – 7:30 PM

Sunday, April 09, 2017 – 2 PM

Tickets $25 • Youth $15 • Family Pass $70 (4 tickets) includes HST

Alexia Evans, Sarah Versacce and Mike Pearse are all smiles as they prepare to bring "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" to the Algonquin Theatre stage on March 31.

Alexia Evans, Sarah Versacce and Mike Pearse are all smiles as they prepare to bring “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” to the Algonquin Theatre stage on March 31.

The kids get in on the fun right from the start of this sweet treat.

The kids get in on the fun right from the start of this sweet treat.

A great young ensemble cast fills the stage with song and dance choreographed by Tia Pearse.

A great ensemble cast fills the stage with song and dance choreographed by Tia Pearse.

Short URL: http://www.muskokatodaily.com/?p=27151

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