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‘Willy Wonka’ Musical Promises Sweet Family Entertainment at MCCC’s Kelsey Theatre July 1 to 10


West Windsor, N.J. – A world famous yet mysterious candy man is about to invite five lucky children into his magical chocolate factory, where delicious adventures await.  The Yardley Players present “Willy Wonka,” a musical based on the famed Roald Dahl book, at Mercer County Community College’s Kelsey Theatre Fridays, July 1 and 8 at 8 p.m.; Saturdays, July 2 and 9 at 8 p.m.; and Sundays, July 3 and 10 at 2 p.m.

Kelsey Theatre is located on the college’s West Windsor Campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road.  A reception with the cast and crew follows the opening night performance on July 1.

It’s big news around the country! Willy Wonka is holding a contest and the five lucky people who find Golden Tickets inside Wonka chocolate bars will win a tour of his factory and a lifetime supply of chocolate. The last of the five children to snag a Golden Ticket is young Charlie Bucket, who arrives at the factory with his Grandpa Joe. There they join the other winners, Augustus Gloop, Violet Beauregarde, Mike Teavee, and Veruca Salt. Little do the children know that the tour is actually a test of character, as Willy Wonka seeks an heir to his chocolate empire. Who will prove himself worthy to carry the mantle?

Made into a popular 1971 film starring Gene Wilder, the "Willy Wonka" stage musical features popular songs such as Pure Imagination and The Candy Man, along with new songs by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley.  The show is adapted for the stage by Bricusse and Tim McDonald.

The cast stars Steven Smith of Princeton Junction as Willy Wonka; Jonah Silberman of New Hope, Pa., as Charlie Bucket; Sheldon Zeff of Newtown, Pa., as Grandpa Joe; Mary Ann Wylie of Morrisville, Pa., as Grandma Josephine; Ken McCormick of Yardley, Pa., as Grandpa George; Marge Swider of Langhorne, Pa., as Grandma Georgina; Jillian Ambs of Newtown, Pa., as Mrs. Bucket; and Ron SanGiovanni of Burlington as Mr. Bucket.

The other Golden Ticket winners and their parents are Hayden Clark of Lawrenceville as Augustus Gloop; Liz Wurtz of Levittown, Pa., as Mrs. Gloop; Alexa Hunt of Manahawkin as Violet Beauregarde; Charlotte Singh of West Windsor as Mrs. Beauregarde; Dylan Katz of West Windsor as Mike Teavee; Leslie Kraus of Levittown, Pa., as Mrs. Teavee; Shealyn Davis of Newtown, Pa., as Veruca Salt; and Brian Davis of Newtown, Pa., as Mr. Salt. Also featured are Dan Mucha of Yardville as the Candy Man, Kristen Kraus of Levittown, Pa., as reporter Phineous Trout, Tristan Davis of Newtown, Pa., as James, and Nolah Flynn of Yardley, Pa., as Matilda.

Appearing in the ensemble are Nicholas Benedetti of Ewing, Analisa Borg of East Windsor, Suzanne Borg of East Windsor, Evan Chartlock of Princeton Junction, Roman Engle of Hamilton, Carter Erickson, Lacie Fields of East Windsor, Ashley Gafgen of Robbinsville, Jenna Gottlieb, Katie Greendorfer of Lambertville, Emma Lucas of Yardville, Aiden McLendon of Bensalem, Pa., Lili Meddahi of Robbinsville, Peyton Nolan of Yardville, Cody Rakow of Jacksonville, Rebekah Redlich of Hillsborough, Shreya Savur of Robbinsville, Casara Sexauer of Robbinsville, Troy Vallery of Hamilton, and Daryn Wolk of Monroe Township.

The production team includes Producer Marge Swider, Director Kristy Davis, Musical Director Pat Masterson, Choreographer Laura Murey Ghaffoor, Costumer Louisa Murey and Stage Manager Patty Walsh.

Tickets are $20 for adults, $18 for senior citizens, and $16 for students and children. Tickets may be purchased online or by calling the Kelsey Box Office at 609-570-3333. 

Kelsey Theatre is wheelchair accessible, with free parking available next to the theater.

For more at Kelsey Theatre, visit:

Summer Season at Kelsey Theatre
Kelsey Website
Audition Informations
Tomato Patch Workshops
for Children and Teens

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And the final Golden Ticket goes to Charlie Buckett (Jonah Silberman), who is pictured with Grandpa Joe (Sheldon Zeff) and Willy Wonka (Steven Smith).

Willie Wonka (center, played by Steven Smith), with winners, from left, Mike Teavee (Dylan Katz), Augustus Gloop (Hayden Clark), Varuca Salt (Shealyn Davis), Charlie Buckett (Jonah Silberman) and Violet Beauregarde (Alexa Hunt). Photo by John Maurer.
Meet the Buckets: Top row from left, Grandpa George (Ken McCormick); Mrs. Bucket (Jillian Ambs); Mr. Bucket (Ron SanGiovanni), Grandpa Joe (Sheldon Zeff); seated, Grandma Georgina, left, (Marge Swider) and Grandma Josephine (Mary Ann Wylie); front, Charlie Bucket (Jonah Silberman). Photo by John Maurer.

Willie and his Oompa Loompas, top row, from left, Evan Chartock, Peyton Nolan, Lili Meddahi, Steven Smith (as Willy Wonka), Emma Lucas, Casara Sexaure, and Aiden McLendon; middle row, from left, Shreya Savur (in red), Nolah Flynn, Ashley Gafgen, and Lacie Fields; front row, from left, Tristan Davis, Troy Vallery, Rebekah Redlich, Daryn Wolk, Ivy Cordle, Cody Rakow, Nicholas Benedetti and Roman Engle (front). Photo by John Maurer.

Glenn Kraft