Sturgis Civic Players present: Willy Wonka

(Courtesy photo)

Thirty-nine cast members of all ages will take the big stage, November 17-19, at the Sturges-Young Center for the Arts as the Sturgis Civic Players present “Willy Wonka,” based on the book “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” by Roald Dahl.

The musical is presented by the Sturgis Civic Players in three performances, at 7 p.m. on Friday, November 17, and Saturday, November 18, and 2 p.m. on Sunday, November 19. The show is Dahl’s timeless story of the world-famous Willy Wonka and his quest to find an heir to his candy-making empire.

Directed by Michelle Klar, of Sturgis, and assisted by Laura Kemp, of White Pigeon, the show includes a large cast of 39 local performers who have been rehearsing lines, songs, and dance since early September. 

“We are excited to bring you a great show filled with fun music including the popular songs ‘Pure Imagination,’ ‘The Candy Man,’ ‘I’ve Got a Golden Ticket,’ the ‘Oompa Loompa’ songs and many more,” said Klar. “The music has been choreographed by local dance teacher Elizabeth M. Smith, of Sturgis.” The music and lyrics were written by Leslie Bricusse & Anthony Newley.

The show follows the candy manufacturer, Willy Wonka, played by Nicholas Ware, of Sturgis, as he offers a contest of hiding golden tickets in five of his world-famous Wonka Bars. The five winners win a free tour of the Wonka factory, and a lifetime supply of candy.

Four of the child winners are spoiled brats, and are played by Archer Hall, of LaGrange; Carissa Reiber, of Schoolcraft; Ana Miller, of White Pigeon; and Isaiah Reynel, of Sturgis. The fifth is a sweet young boy, Charlie Bucket, played by Micaiah Arreola, of Sturgis, who tours the factory with his grandfather, played by Colin Eastman. The children must follow Wonka’s rules during the tour or suffer the consequences. Ryan Davis, of Sturgis, plays the Candy Man.

Tickets are $15 for both children and adults and can be purchased by visiting: Children ages two years and under are free with adult in same seat.

The show is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI).