Public gets a golden ticket to ‘Wonka and the Chocolate Factory’
Figure Skating Club of Park City will present “Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, May 4 and 5, at the Park City Ice Arena, 600 Gillmor Way at Quinn’s Junction. Tickets are on sale at www.figureskatingclubofparkcity.org. Tickets will also be available at the door.
The Figure Skating Club of Park City is inviting the public to a night of pure imagination when it presents “Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.”
The production will be held at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, May 4 and 5, at the Park City Ice Arena, 600 Gillmor Way at Quinn’s Junction.
“Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” is based on Roald Dahl’s book “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” as well as Tim Burton’s 2005 film starring Johnny Depp, and Mel Stuart’s 1971 film, “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” featuring Gene Wilder, said Haley Smith, Figure Skating Club of Park City coach.
“We pulled some characters from the book that aren’t in the movies, because we have between 65 to 70 skaters in the performance,” Smith said.
The abundance of skaters is due to the tryouts that were held a few weeks ago.
“We had the skaters make up their own numbers, and gave them a choice of four different songs,” Smith explained. “They had to make up their own choreography without any coaching.”
Members of the community serving as judges scored the kids, and the Figure Skating Club’s coaches tabulated the scores.
“We came up with the soloists, the main characters and the other roles,” Smith said. “We had so many kids that did such a great job that we felt we needed to add more roles.”
The skaters’ ages range from 5 to 16, and the club’s developmental program is participating in the show.
The main roles include the characters from the movies — Charlie Bucket, Veruca Salt, Mike Teavee, Violet Beauregarde and Augustus Gloop.
“We also cast their parents, and Charlie’s grandparents,” Smith said. “The segment with the grandparents was a great number to do because they skated around with canes and walkers. So it’s really funny.”
This year’s production is different than past spring performances.
“It runs more like a play than a traditional ice show that has different group numbers and solos mixed in between,” Smith said. “We have a lot of moving parts, and the whole cast is on the ice for about 75 percent of the time.”
To facilitate the change, the four directors recruited the club’s seven other coaches to help choreograph.
“We divided and conquered,” Smith said. “We had a condensed rehearsal schedule due to spring break and a skating competition that was held this past weekend. So there wasn’t a lot of time to rehearse.”
The music for “Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” is a mix of different songs.
“We pulled a lot of the music from the new ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ musical,” Smith said. “And some songs we used weren’t from the movies or musical. They were about candy, though, and things like that.”
The costumes were sourced by a parent volunteer, Taylor Knight, who is the production chairwoman.
“She starts in early February when we set the roles and start putting the show together,” Smith said. “She provides the costumes. Some of them are new and some of them we have used before. She is a magician when it comes to finding costumes for what we need.”
This year’s production will also include a special pre-performance event.
“A month ago one of our skaters, Hadley Miles, was diagnosed with leukemia, so we are doing a fundraiser for the cancer charity that she chooses,” Smith said.
The Figure Skating Club of Park City’s synchro team will do a number and then the public will participate in a chuck-a-puck contest.
“People can purchase a hockey puck, which they will throw onto the ice,” Smith said. “We’ll have prizes for whoever can throw the puck closest to center ice.”
Miles, who will portray Veruca Salt’s father in “Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” is a dedicated skater, Smith said.
“Even though Hadley has been sick, she has showed up to all the rehearsals,” she said. “She’s an amazing kid and we’re happy to do a fundraiser for her.”
The Figure Skating Club of Park City has wanted to present “Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” for three years.
“We have a running list of things we want to put together, and every other year we do a big production,” Smith said. “This year, the directors, who are all Figure Skating Club of Park City coaches, got together and decided that we were going to go for it.”
Smith said seeing the skaters “blossom and perform” is gratifying.
“In competitive figure skating there is a lot of pressure, so to see them turn on their performance aspect, which is much different than competing, is one of the most rewarding things for us coaches,” she said.
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