Pau-Wa-Lu Player’s ‘Willy Wonka Jr.’ opens Friday |

Pau-Wa-Lu Player’s ‘Willy Wonka Jr.’ opens Friday

by Caryn Haller

The Pau-Wa-Lu Players are giving the community a glimpse into the imagination of eccentric candy factory owner Willy Wonka.

The theater group’s presentation of “Willy Wonka Jr.” opens Friday and continues weekends through Feb. 26.

“It’s definitely not the Johnny Depp variety. It follows more the Gene Wilder movie,” Director Rich Garrett said. “It’s been interesting trying to create the magic people want to see on stage.”

Based on Roald Dahl’s book, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” it is the story of hope, gluttony, arrogance, morality and ultimately character.

“The thing that made that movie special is it captured this wonderful world of Wonka’s imagination,” Garrett said. “Adults like me will probably remember the movie from when they were kids.”

The 43-member cast includes Carson Valley youth in sixth through ninth grade.

“The kids have had fun. They are rambunctious and full of energy which fits the show perfectly.”

Musical numbers include “Pure Imagination,” “The Candy Man,” “I Want it Now,” and “Oompa Loompa.”

“This is the musical that Gene Wilder made famous and will take all of us back to our childhood,” Garrett said.

Dalton Miller, 14, plays the eccentric Wonka.

“It’s really fun. I get to dress up in cool costumes, and I get a lot of freedom with the part,” Dalton said. “This is the biggest character I’ve ever played. It’s hard learning all the lines, but once I did, it’s really fun.”

The obnoxious television-watching character, Mike Teavee, is played by 14-year-old Joseph Campbell.

“He’s very loud, very obnoxious and very annoying,” Joseph said. “It’s a different experience because I usually play the bad guy.”

Olivia Abbott, 14, gets to play the role of Mike’s mom, Mrs. Teavee.

“My character goes along with everything her son says. He bosses her around a lot,” Olivia said. “This play is really fun. There’s a lot of special effects going into it. It’s really wild and interesting to see all the crazy characters like me.”

“Willy Wonka Jr.” performances are 7 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Feb. 24 and 25, and 2 p.m. Sunday and Feb. 26. Show tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students and seniors.

Tickets are available at the door. For more information call 265-6100 or email