A Delicious Treat For “Willy Wonka!”
The superbly cast show was anchored by Larkin Shearer as the magical, mysterious Wonka; and Cody Parson as the likable and unpretentious Charlie Bucket.
Shearer, with light feet, twinkling eyes and just enough of a sarcastic edge, narrates and orchestrates the proceedings with a wave of his walking stick. And, with the welcome surprise of his effortlessly pleasant and expressive voice, Shearer holds attention through the power of his niceness.
Jessica Miller, as the reporter, Phineous Trout, comes off as a master of the reaction – with her disgust disguised.
Among the misbehaving youngsters and their lax parents, the talented actors include Katelynn Mellott as the spoiled, demanding Veruca Salt; Sarah Hollinshead as her over indulging mother; Sara Winegarder as the doting mom of greedy Augustus Gloop (Billy Crowder); Brandi Welsh as the wise cracking gum chewer Violet Beauregarde, her mother delightfully portrayed by Abby Peck, and the gluttonous Mike Teavee (Austin Shelley) with his mother performed by Hannah Ott.
Charlie has a loving extended family that provides a reassuring contrast, particularly Ashton Doyle as spry Grandpa Joe, Brice Feagley as Mr. Bucket and Grace Youngblood as Mrs. Bucket. The comedic antics of his Grandpa George (Jason Pecho), Grandma Geor-gina (Sarah Strait) and Grandma Josephine (Shelby Long), helped young Charlie “think positive” as he searched for his golden ticket.
Full of fun dance numbers, comedy and the talents of the company, imaginations were fed and all were thoroughly delighted.
Erica Sexton completed her third production with MHS as director. With the assistance of Sarah Cutchall, her willingness to entertain audiences was seen in the professional performances given.
Noreen Mann continued to show her devotion to the cast and crew as music director. She and the orchestra made up of Carolyn Kerlin and Larry Stepler provided, as always, the most impressive musical support. In her first year assisting the music director, Rachel Leese was instrumental in helping the students learn their songs and give their best to the show.
Melissa Horton and Marjorie Sexton, as costume mistresses, were a delightful accomplishment. The challenge to provide costumes for a variety of scene changes and sequences is one that they achieved masterfully.
Susan Cubbage completed her second year as stage and set designer. With the help of Chad Mellott, John Mellott and Kenneth Walker, Sue was masterful at transforming the stage into the magical chocolate factory and the home and neighborhood streets of the Bucket family. Sue also was the stage manager, and Doug Seiders was set crew manager.
Choreographers Cla-rissa Kissinger, Sarah Cutchall and Haley Garlock were delightful at bringing the show to life through their creative dance numbers.
This is Nancy Shearer’s 13th year producing MHS musicals. Her attention to details and tireless pursuit of support ensures that all the final touches of the show are in place to reward audiences with a wonderful theatre experience.
The precise and oftendreamy lighting of Cassie and Kirsten Wilford added to the imaginative spectacle, as did the spotlights as supervised and coordinated by Andrew Smith and his crew of Alex Keaton, Tristin Deneen, and Jimmie Crowder.
In addition to the generosity of several local individuals and businesses, this project was supported by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency, through the Pennsylvania Partner in the Arts (PPA), its regional arts funding partnership. PPA is administered in this region by the Cultural Alliance of York County.