The Main Street Community Theatre stage is filled with the sound of children. Children are singing, dancing and laughing their way through the annual spring production.
Willie Wonka KIDS takes the stage this weekend, starting Saturday, June 4.
Attending rehearsals, it is fun to watch the chilren grow from year to year. They grow not just taller, but boys and girls who began their theatre experiences in the chorus now have speaking parts and solos. Even the little ones who were in the chorus last year (and are in the chorus again this year) are more focused and have a better stage presence.
It's mind boggling how these little people take to the stage and learn to take direction. The directors, Jackie VanOosbree, Peggy Stolley and Brent McAllister, must be commended for their direction that little people can comprehend, and their patience. It's almost overwhelming to walk into the theatre and see that many small people on stage.
One evening rehearsal I listened with interest as the director said, "You are on stage. You have to act. You have to smile. You have to react. You have to have fun." They wiggle, they look around the theatre at the lights and the audience seats in front of them, and they have a hard time concentrating. But eventually the get the idea that they are there to perform. Rehearsals are long - an hour is a long time for someone small - and the rehearsals last more than an hour. But, the kids (and their parents) take it in stride.
The "KIDS" musicals are high energy. And, we are fortunate to have such talent pull the production together. These talented children bring their energy to the stage. Each year they gain a little more experience and soon they will be in high school, ready for swing choir and school musicals.
I have to say, there is always one element in each show that makes me smile -- a lot. This production, it would be the squirrels. Shades of cartoon character Rocky the Flying Squirrel right down to the flight helmet. Just too cute!
There will be six performances of Willie Wonka KIDS so make it a point to attend so you can watch and listen to this talented group of students as they sing and dance. It's Willie Wonka wonderful.
Show dates and times are June 4 and 5 at 1 p.m.; June 9 and 10 at 7 p.m.; and June 11 and 12 at 1 p.m. There are no reserved seats; the doors of the theatre open an hour before each show.
Guaranteed - you'll come away singing "I've Got A Golden Ticket." It's a "golden" performance to be sure.