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Performing Arts

Sweet tooth

'Willy Wonka' is your golden ticket for summertime stage escapism.

Sarah Lobban June 20th, 2012

Willy Wonka
8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, through June 30
Upstage Theatre
Mitch Park Amphitheatre
1501 W. Covell, Edmond

Traveling is always an option over the summer, but with gas prices as they are, the cost of going out of state can get a little out of hand.

A great alternative is taking your mind, if not your body, on a tour of pure imagination.

Upstage Theatre in Edmond offers your imagination the chance to go to a fantastical chocolate factory in England in the musical Willy Wonka.

Based on Roald Dahl’s classic 1964 children’s book that spawned two films and numerous stage adaptations, Wonka is directed by Brett Rottmayer, co-owner of Upstage.

While many people are familiar with the story, this version of Wonka is set in the present. By changing the date, Rottmayer said he hoped to make his version of the musical stand out from the others. The clothing and technology used in Wonka is designed by him as well.

“We’re looking forward to presenting [these productions] to the community,” said Rottmayer. “We have been able to bring a new life to them and make them accessible to an audience of 2012.”

Charlie Monnot, whose former acting roles include Harold Hill in Jewel Box Theatre’s The Music Man, stars in the title role.

Rottmayer said while audiences should enjoy the story and songs they know and love, he hopes Upstage’s innovations will let them “see the productions in a way they haven’t before.”

Whether set now or half a century ago, Wonka is surefire entertainment for the young and young-at-heart: a classic story of the triumph of the underdog, the nostalgia of childhood, and, of course, vast quantities of chocolate.

And all you need is a golden ticket.

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