Just in time for the first week of spring, the Old Rochester Regional High School Drama Club is presenting their production of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
Known to many due to its two movie adaptations, the musical follows the adventure of Charlie Bucket, one of five lucky children invited to tour the mysterious Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. Full of jokes, laughs, and a few high-flying stunts, the musical is enjoyed by audiences of all ages.
“Willy Wonka is definitely one of our best shows because of the extravagant sets, and the whole cast worked so hard to provide a beautiful experience,” said Ryu Huynh-Aoyama, who plays Mr. Bucket.
“Students have all worked really hard in spite of the several snow days,” added senior Grace Stephens, who plays Veruca Salt. “This is the most talented and dedicated group of people I’ve ever worked with.”
As with every spring performance, Willy Wonka will be the last show for many of the members of the drama club, including the title character’s actor, Chris Savino. In fact, this show marks the beginning of the final seven weeks of school for the senior class, and although it is a fun play, emotions will be running high amongst some of the cast.
“This show has been very bittersweet for me. It’s my last show ever at ORR, but I also get to play Willy Wonka, so I am really excited,” Savino said. “I love this show because it is both creepy and fun, and even if you don’t understand how disturbing the storyline is, you will still leave the show with a smile on your face.”
Savino urged the community to come out for the production.
“I think people should come see this show because it is a classic,” Savino said. “When I sit backstage watching my fellow castmates perform, I always find myself laughing and I think it is a very feel-good show.”
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory stars senior Christopher Savino as Willy Wonka and Kate Marsden as Charlie Bucket. The musical also features Ryu Huynh-Aoyama, Bethany Cabral, Nicholas Claudio, Luke Couto, Lauren Gonsalves, Isaac Hartley, Katie Maclean, Grace Mastroianni, Elise Mello, Julia Melloni, Aidan Michaud, Chris Peretz, Jack Roussell, Michael Sivvianakis, Andrew Steele, and Grace Stephens.
The musical opens on Thursday, March 22, and runs through Saturday, March 24, beginning at 7:30 pm, with a Sunday matinee at 2:00 pm. The Thursday performance will be ASL interpreted. Tickets are $12 for students and seniors, and $15 for the general public. Tickets can be bought at the Marion General Store, Plumb Corner Market in Rochester, and Pen & Pendulum in Mattapoisett.
By Jo Caynon