Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


October 11, 2012

'Wonka': Life lessons with a candy coating

ACT Andover bringing musical to Collins Center

ACT Andover is telling people, “Come with me, and you’ll be, in a world of pure imagination....”

Director Charles Gracy is getting ready for his theater company’s upcoming production of Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka, to run on Oct. 26, 27 and 28 at the Collins Center for the Performing Arts, Andover High School, 80 Shawsheen Road.

“This family-friendly musical is appropriate for all ages. It will bring the magic of the book back to the adult who read it as a child, and introduce the wonder of the world of Willy Wonka to a young child,” according to Gracy.

Roald Dahl’s ‘Willy Wonka’ follows enigmatic candy manufacturer Willy Wonka as he stages a contest by hiding five golden tickets in five of his scrumptious candy bars around the world. Whoever the lucky finders are, will win a free tour of the secretive Wonka factory, as well as a lifetime supply of candy. The children and their parents enter Wonka’s magical chocolate world and quickly realize they have to follow his rules.

“The audience will be treated to great songs that are not only entertaining to watch, but contain valuable life lessons, delivered by the mysterious Oompa Loompas,” according to an ACT Andover release.

“This show features performers from all over the Merrimack Valley area including almost 30 from Andover,” according to Beth Kennedy, choreographer.

Performers from Andover include: Tom Aylward; Maddy Blanchette; Leila Boudries, Jillian Boyer; John, Taylor, Elizabeth and Julie Day; Kelsea Dennehey; Ryan Doyle; Rachel Drew; Ryan Gillmore; Emma Harris; Sue Hawes; Andrew and Lisa Jones; Theo and Nick Kalantzakos; Julia and Katharine Leland; Michael Long; Tom Pantally; Imani Physic; Chris Preller; Andrew Regan; Valerie Rhodes; Zoe Saum and Farrah Sousa.

The role of Charlie is shared by Patrick Creedon of Burlington and Michael Saracco of Melrose. Tim Sipsey, a lifetime resident of Methuen, stars as Willy Wonka.

At Andover Day and other local events, ACT Andover gave out its own Golden Tickets for these shows. For everyone else, tickets are now on sale at and cost $20 or $25, depending on seating.

Show times are Thursday, Oct. 26 at 7:30 p.m.; Friday, Oct. 27 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and a final show on Sunday, Oct. 28 at 6 p.m.

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