The Central Stage Theatre of County Kitsap debuted its production of “Willy Wonka” last week, and so far, audiences have been pleased.
“The first weekend was outstanding,” said Trina Williamson, director of the play. “We had near sell-out crowds all weekend.”
Williamson said cast and crew have been receiving steady compliments for the show, some saying it’s the best show the theater has put on in recent years.
“The Sunday performance was filled with so many young people and I haven’t seen that in some time,” Williamson said. “Of course, this being ‘Willy Wonka,’ I knew that families would want to bring their children but I was amazed at the numbers of children I saw in the house that evening.”
And families are the niche audience for the production of Roald Dahl’s classic children’s story. The story has gone onto the big screen twice and graced the stage since “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” was released in 1964.
“Roald Dahl was known as a children’s author and the original movie was definitely geared toward children, but I think the story is meant to be told to all generations,” Williamson said. “Willy Wonka and the Oompa Loompas are always there to remind us the moral of the story in song and dance.”
CSTOCK’s version takes on varying aspects of previous Wonka presentations, while giving it flare with local actors.
“The stage version is an amalgamation of both Roald Dahl’s book and the original 1971 film starring Gene Wilder,” Williamson said. “For the most part, it transfers beautifully to the stage.”
She added, “There were some modernizations made of this particular version. The character of Mike Teevee is the typical modern-day cell phone carrying, video-game playing kid.”
There are also a few new songs in the production, but favorites from the original film are still included.
Performances are at 7:30 p.m. on weekends in the Silverdale Community Center. Tickets are $8-15 and can be purchased online at www.cstock.org.
The show will continue each weekend until March 9.