My family and I attended last weekend’s Rising Star Center for the Arts performance of Willy Wonka Jr.
It would be an understatement to call the performance adorable. It brought me back to my musical theater days as a kid. I was a summer stock regular for many years, and performed in school musicals and plays aplenty.
The show is an adapted musical from Roald Dahl’s original story “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” a 1964 children’s novel. Much like the original story, the musical featured the adventures of young Charlie Bucket inside the chocolate factory of eccentric chocolatier Willy Wonka.
The timing for this show was serendipitous, as my oldest daughter read Dahl’s book with her first grade class recently. She knew all the characters’ names and what to expect. Her younger 5-year-old twin sisters were in for a real treat (in more than one way).
Upon arriving, we knew we were in the right place because there were candy decorations everywhere. It made my mouth water, even though we came prepared with treats and snacks (have kids, will travel with lots of snacks). Nevertheless, we stocked up again during intermission because a show about chocolate and candy demands more!
A few of my favorite performances were given by the kids playing Violet Beauregarde, Mike “TV” Teavee (who nailed acting like a brat) and Veruca Salt. Veruca perfected the accent so well; I wish she had more lines so I could enjoy hearing the accent more!
Rising Star Center for the Arts is a great place to introduce musical theater and dance to young children. The show featured actors who were a range of ages, from 5 to 15 years old. There was a part for everyone and they all shined in their own special way.
Rising Star Center for the Arts is located at 105 E. Market St. in Akron. Click here to learn more.