Taking the Stage

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The students of Woodhull Elementary School took to the stage to deliver a tremendous performance of “Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory” for their annual winter musical.  

The students began working on the show in October under the direction of Woodhull music teacher Philip Tamberino, with older students cast in the roles of Willy Wonka (Jaxson Adams), Charlie (Evan McEvoy) and the parents and kids who tour Wonka’s factory (Olivia Asaro-Apsley, Angelo La Rosa, Logan Nelson, Catherine Philippe, Ariel Vizcarrondo and Joshua Vizcarrondo). The parts of Charlie’s mother and Grandpa Joe were combined into a composite role of Charlie’s Grandma Josephine, who was played by Mary O’Brien in her first performance at the school. 

Woodhull’s very youngest students began the show with their opening scene with   Lydon Cole as Candy Man, who together performed the famous song “The Candy Man.” As news spreads around the world about Wonka’s “Golden Ticket” contest, Cole Boyle, Joey Knight, Quinlan McEvoy and Anna Zuleta gave the exciting news reports. Liam Greider played the “villain” Arthur Slugworth, who is actually one of Wonka’s employees that is helping him test the integrity of the ticket winners. Along the factory tour the kids and their parents discover one of the secrets of Wonka’s chocolate-making, the Oompa Loompas, who serve as his factory workers (played by the first grade class), and as they get into trouble the Ooompa Loompas sing their famous moralizing song each time.

The staging of the creative story, originally told in book form by Roald Dahl, was helped by art teacher Bianca Daidone, who created the colorful backdrop representing the inside of Wonka’s factory; teachers Colleen Ferry and Anna Bainbridge, who organized and supervised the backstage area; and maintenance staff Jim Fitz and Bruce Kurka, who helped with technical aspects of the performance, including the sound and lighting.