MOUNT VERNON — How does a free tour of a chocolate factory and a lifetime supply of candy sound? MTVarts’ artsIQ will present two scrumdiddlyumptious musicals, “Willy Wonka Kids” and “Willy Wonka Jr.,” at the Knox County Memorial Theater Sept. 13-22.

Adapted from Roald Dahl’s “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” the musical tells the story of Willy Wonka, world famous inventor of the Everlasting Gobstopper, who has just made an astonishing announcement. His marvelous — and mysterious — factory is opening its gates … to a lucky few. That includes young Charlie Bucket, whose life definitely needs sweetening. He and four other golden ticket winners will embark on a mesmerizing, life-changing journey through Wonka’s world of pure imagination.

With over 100 children involved there will be two versions of the show presented over the next two weekends — “Willy Wonka Kids” and “Wonka Jr.”

The Kids version will be presented to all kindergarten students in Knox County at a morning matinee. The Jr. version will be morning matinees for grades 1 and 2. The school performances are offered through the Knox County “YES” program.

“Willy Wonka Kids” features actors ages eight to 11. This version is shorter in length and the perfect introduction for the youngest theatergoers. Appropriate for ages 2 and up. Show times and dates for “Kids” are Friday, Sept. 13 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 14 at 2 p.m., and Saturday, Sept. 14 at 7:30 p.m.

“Willy Wonka Jr.” is filled with a talented cast of seasoned performers between the ages of 12 and 18. Most have performed in all six artsIQ shows and strive for the standards of professionals. Show times and dates for “Willy Wonka Jr.” are Friday, Sept. 20 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 21 at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Sept. 22 at 2 p.m.

“Our toughest question before we design a setting for a fantasy story that’s so well known and beloved is, ‘How do we get the magic onstage?’” said artistic director Bruce Jacklin. He notes that he has “tried to draw out some natural wonder with a huge tone difference between the drab world of Charlie’s home and the technicolor dreamland of Willy Wonka — a lot like Kansas versus Oz. The creative design team has been collaborating to work wonders to nail this goal.”

For more information or to purchase tickets visit our website at Tickets can also be purchased at First-Knox National Bank main office, or at the door one hour before curtain.


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