2009-02-13 / Entertainment/Lifestyles

A 'Willy Wonka'Weekend At Rockaway Theatre Company

Top row are (l-r) Nick Tsatsis, Charlotte Riggs, Siobhan Brandman and Mackenzie Thompson. Front row (l-r) Caitlin Byrne, Ryan D'Emic, Althea Sullivan and Reilly Charles. Top row are (l-r) Nick Tsatsis, Charlotte Riggs, Siobhan Brandman and Mackenzie Thompson. Front row (l-r) Caitlin Byrne, Ryan D'Emic, Althea Sullivan and Reilly Charles. The Rockaway Theatre Company Young People's Theatre Workshops presented the special junior musical version of the ever popular, "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory," this past weekend at Fort Tilden. The 56 youngsters registered in the workshop program sang, danced and acted in the Broadway-quality production, which received rave audience responses at all four sold-out performances.

Willy Wonka Junior was the culmination of the RTC's five month long Saturday morning Theatre Program under the guidance of workshop directors Peggy Page and Peggy Vivino, who have headed the RTC Children's Theatre Workshop for the past five years. This year a music component was added and teachers Jodee Timpone and Richard Louis-Pierre organized vocals and orchestrations and choreographer Amanda Millwater to join the team. The musical tale of Willy Wonka's quest to find a special young person uniquely qualified to take over the running of his world famous chocolate factory was the result of this collaboration.

Reilly Charles as Charlie Bucket Reilly Charles as Charlie Bucket The most important factor in the success of this production was the talented youngsters who comprised the cast. The roles of Willy Wonka and Grandpa Joe were alternated between Ryan D'Emic and Nicholas Tsatsis; Charlie Bucket was portrayed by Reilly Ann Charles; the Oompa Loompas were played by Sophia Appel (also Candy Man Kid), Rebecca Boland (also Candy Man Kid), Caitlin Byrne (also Veruca Salt), Elizabeth Catanese, Julia Carey, Kristie Carey, Lauren Clark, Rian Courtney, Marina Cregan, Madison Efron, Leigh Dillon (also Candy Man Kid and Augusta Gloop), Shannon Dzuik, Alison Ebert (also Mrs. Salt), Peter Ebert (also Grandpa George), Morgan Fleming, Lucia Funaro (also Candy Man Kid), Mary Israel, Grace Kane, Laurie Klein (also Candy Man Kid), Katie Lynch, Mary Kate Maher, Heather Marks, Dierdre McCool, Cara Melchoirri (also Candy Man Kid), Mia Melchiorri (also Candy Man Kid), Catherine Muldoon (also Grandma Josephina), Liana Nelson, Elizabeth Nies, Kimberly Omezi (also Candy Man Kid), Ali Papapietro (also Mr. Gloop), Marissa Papapietro (also Mrs. Gloop), Victoria Ryan, Jenna Schmitt (also Candy Man Kid), Hayden Signoretti, Lara Thompson (also Grandma Georgina), and Shannon Twomey; Mrs. Teavee was played by Siobhan Brandman; Mrs. Salt was played by Jessica Caiazzo; Mike Teavee was played by Michael Newman and Joseph Sullivan; Violet Beauregarde was played by Charlotte Riggs and Stephanie Zwirn; Phinea Trout was played by Indigo Signoretti and Althea Sullivan; Augusta Gloop was played by Casey Stabiner; Mrs. Beauregarde was played by Mackenzie Thompson; Mr. Bucket was played by Andrew Wagner; and Veruca Salt was also played by Sophia Zweifler.

The Oompa Loompas take a bow The Oompa Loompas take a bow The Peggys give thanks to all of the volunteers who donated their time and energy to making the production a great success. They also thank the entire community for its overwhelming response.

Plans have already been made to add an extra weekend to the performance schedule for 2010. Parents who are interested in registering their children for the next set of classes should email rockaway theatreco@ nyc.rr.com for further info.

The Bucket Family The Bucket Family

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