Clay Middle School eighth-grader Luke O’Brien is drawing a bit from Gene Wilder’s and Johnny Depp’s movie portrayals of eccentric chocolate magnate Willy Wonka.
“I’m kind of taking a bit of both, more from Gene Wilder, and putting it into my own kind of style,” O’Brien said. “I like to play funny characters and he’s lot of fun to be. He leads the narrative. It’s a role I was hoping for (when he auditioned).”
O’Brien said the main challenges are a lot of lines and choreography to memorize.
Clay Middle School will present “Willy Wonka Jr.” at 7 p.m. Nov. 15, 16 and 17. The musical is based on Roald Dahl’s book, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.’
Meggie Iver plays Violet Beauregarde, who is constantly gum-chewing.
“It’s really fun singing the songs, and I like turning into a blueberry,” Iver said.
Iver has experience in the role having already played Violet in a fifth-grade production at Prairie Trace Elementary.
Katie Mayer plays Veruca Salt, who falls down a trap door because she wants a squirrel.
“I like Violet the best but I wanted to play Veruca,” Mayer said.
Matthew Halloran plays Mike Teavee, who is obsessed with watching TV.
“It’s fun to play a brat,” Halloran said. “I have some funny lines.”
Joey Miller shares the role of Grandpa Joe with Patrick Greene. Miller will act in two performances and Greene will do the third.
“I get to do some comic relief, so that’s pretty fun,” Miller said.
Greene said he benefits from having a deep voice.
Aaron Young is playing Charlie Bucket and Seth Jacobsen is playing Mr. Salt
All tickets will be purchased through Eventbrite. This site allows for credit card payments and requires no additional processing fees. Cash or checks will only be accepted for tickets purchased at the door or during lunch time box office sales starting Nov. 8. Checks should be made out to Clay Middle School.
For Nov. 15, visit eventbrite.com/e/willy-wonka-junior-the-musical-thursday-understudy-night-performance-tickets-51551538038.
For Nov. 16, visit eventbrite.com/e/willy-wonka-junior-the-musical-friday-night-performance-tickets-51551340447.
For Nov. 17, eventbrite.com/e/willy-wonka-junior-the-musical-saturday-night-performance-tickets-51550566131
Tickets are $3, 4 and $5. Ticket pricing is based on seat location.