‘Wonka Jr.’ opens Straw Hat season

“Willy Wonka Jr.” is the first of four musicals planned this summer for the Straw Hat Theatre season.

The opening show is a children’s production adapted for the stage by Leslie Bricusse and Timothy Allen McDonald from the Roald Dahl novel “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and featuring songs by Bricusse and Anthony Newley.

Enigmatic candy manufacturer Willy Wonka stages a contest by hiding golden tickets in five of his scrumptious candy bars. Those who find tickets will win a free tour of the Wonka factory, as well as a lifetime supply of candy. The winning children must learn to follow Mr. Wonka’s rules in the factory — or suffer the consequences.

The Straw Hat production is directed by Lisa Lowery with musical direction by Ashley Nelling.

It will be staged at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday through June 18 on the grounds of Ashtabula Arts Center, 2928 W. 13th St., Ashtabula. Tickets are $13 for adults, $11 for students, senior citizens and military, and $9 for children ages 2 to 12 if purchased in advance online at ashtabulaartscenter.org or by calling 440-964-3396. Tickets purchased day of the show are $2 more.

The rest of the season includes “Bye Bye Birdie” from June 30 to July 9, “Tuck Everlasting” from July 21 to 30 and “Once” from Aug. 11 to Aug. 20.


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