LTHS ‘Willy Wonka’ a sweet experience
By Adam Woodworth May 17, 2012 9:30PM
Updated: June 29, 2012 8:05AM
The Lockport Township High School Theater, the Porter Players, last weekend put on the best high school performance that I’ve ever seen. The production was the musical of Roald Dahl’s “Willy Wonka.”
The musical was narrated by high school junior Stephen Hippleheuser, who played the role of the Candy Man. Artie Martinez, a senior, played the part of Willy Wonka while Mitch McLaughlin, a freshman, performed as Charlie Bucket. These three actors truly were amazingly believable in their roles.
Of course, you can’t have “Willy Wonka” without the Bucket Family and the grandparents in the bed. The humor and interaction amongst the cast members in these roles was truly delightful.
Out of all of the other “Golden Ticket” winners (Augustus Gloop, Veruca Salt, Violet Beauregardee and Mike Teavee), all played their parts to perfection. My favorite character was the portrayal of Augustus Gloop by Mike Sheldon, a junior. He simply nailed it. And the Oompa Loompas’ dancing was extremely well choreographed.
And while the acting and song numbers were superb, the behind the scenes work of the Technical Directors and crew were equally as superb. The sets were stunning. From the chocolate mountain to the pink candy boat, from the Bucket’s home to the TV room, the sets were simply amazing. I’ve never been to a high school performance with this much detail to the sets. Heck, I’ve never seen this much detail in any college performances either.
And if the detail work of the sets weren’t impressive enough, the effects that the technical crew put into place were icing on the cake. They made the effect where Augustus Gloop moved through the tubes from the chocolate river. They made the waves move in such a way to give the effect that the pink candy boat was moving. They even figured out a clever way to shrink Mike Teavee.
But the two effects that were the most amazing to me were the floating of Charlie and his Grandpa Joe in the bubble room and the magic elevator flying high over the stage. The technical crew and their directors really faced the challenges of making these effects happen and made the magic happen to compliment the actors.
I applaud the work of the directing staff, but especially Ken Frykom (scenic design/technical director) and Laura Gilbert (director/producer) for all of their work in giving these LTHS students an experience that will last with them a lifetime.
Adam Woodworth, a Porter Player Patron, can be reached at email@example.com