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Experience a world of 'pure imagination'

The Alexandria Area Arts Association (AAAA) will present the family-friendly production of Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka September 20-22 and 27-29 at the AAAA Theatre in downtown Alexandria.

The story follows the world-famous candy man and his quest to find an heir amongst the world's children.

Willy Wonka is based on Dahl's best-selling book, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, as well as the 1971 MGM film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory starring Gene Wilder. It features many of the songs from the movie, including Pure Imagination, I've Got a Golden Ticket, I Want it Now, and the songs of the Oompa Loompas.

After closing his factory for years, Willy Wonka decides to open his factory to five lucky children from around the globe, including spoiled-rotten Veruca Salt, gluttonous Augustus Gloop, gum-chewing Violet Beauregard and TV junkie Mike Tevee, along with their chaperones.

The final ticket winner, Charlie Bucket, couldn't be more unlike the other children, and is kind and generous. Wonka leads the children through his factory, a labyrinth of candy drops, life lessons and giggles galore.

The production's crew includes Benjamin Klipfel, director; Mark Graf, music and orchestra director; Rachel Capistrant; vocal coach; Quincy Roers; technical director and scenic/lighting designer; Hilary Ninman, prop coordinator; Holly Wallerch, costume designer; Lindsey Roers, choreographer; Ali Prestby and Mercedes Hagen, production accompanists.

Willy Wonka is adapted for the stage by Leslie Bricusse (Doctor Doolittle) and Tim McDonald. Lyrics and music are by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley (Stop the World: I Want to Get Off). The production is licensed by Musical Theatre International.

Willy Wonka has performances September 20, 21, 27 and 28 at 7:30 p.m. and two Sunday matinees September 22 and 29 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $18 for adults, $16 for students and seniors (60+) and $10 for kids 10 or younger.

Tickets can be purchased at the AAAA Box Office at (320) 762-8300.

Willy Wonka is sponsored by The Aagard Group, LLC and XS Consulting of Alexandria. Additional support is provided by The Sugar Shack of Alexandria.

Willy Wonka cast

Ben Stoeck — Willy Wonka

Alex Johnson — Phineous Trout

Jackson Grove — Charlie Bucket

Bruce Wegner — Grandpa Joe

Caroline Petefish — Grandma Josephine

John Thalmann — Grandpa George

Sharon Thalmann — Grandma Georgina

David Christman — Mr. Bucket

Becky Byrne — Mrs. Bucket

Ian Haseltine — Augustus Gloop

Carolyn Giannone — Mrs. Gloop

Bailey Myrin — Veruca Salt

Scott Giannone — Mr. Salt

Paige Mackedanz — Violet Beauregard

Nancy Klepetka — Mrs. Beauregard

Evan Slack — Mike Tevee

Lindsey Roers — Mrs. Tevee

Daniel Roers — James

McKayla Petrie — Matilda

Candyman Kids/Oompa Loompas:

Daniel Roers

McKayla Petrie

Claire Wilmesmeier

Ben Jenson

Miranda Novak

Hope Burnham

Colin Barten

Sydney Christenson

Brody Uhlenkamp