Theater’s Magical Spring Show

Erin Bode, Staff Writer

“Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka,” RHS’s annual spring musical, took place March 21, 30 and April 1. It was also co-sponsors Dana (Sato) and Daniel Tobiassen’s last production at RHS.
Willy Wonka tells the story of a poor young boy who wins one of five golden tickets hidden inside chocolate bars to take a tour of a mysterious chocolate factory. When asked to bring along a family member he choses his eccentric Grandpa Joe, who had always believed that Charlie would win one of the golden tickets.
“This musical is really special to me and my co-sponsor, Mr. Daniel Tobiassen. Among other things, it’s the first musical we worked together many years ago, closing night is on our first wedding anniversary, and we were both really saddened by Gene Wilder’s death last year,” Dana Tobiassen said. “We felt that performing this show in honor of not only Mr. Wilder, but also as a personal connection for ourselves, would be really special.”
The musical opened with Willy Wonka, played by sophomore Dylan Hawkins, walking through the audience to eventually take his place onstage to begin narrating the musical. Charlie, played by Gabriella Sanchez also a sophomore, was joined by the rest of the golden ticket holders: Veruca, Mike TV, Augustus and Violet.
As the characters sing and dance through the mysterious factory, each child is tempted by something in the factory, and one by one, they fail in resisting the temptation. Even Charlie is tempted, but he is smart enough to find his way out, and by the end of the trip Charlie is the only child left.
After revealing to Willy Wonka that he drank the soda when he was not supposed to, Wonka reveals to him that he passed the test and Charlie will be inheriting the factory.
With a singing cast of Oompa-Loompas to help move the stories along, “Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka,” was a wonderful addition to the musical performances of past Rockville students. The sets were creative and effective in telling the story, and the voices of Hawkins and Sanchez were captivating.
The musical was different from some of the others performed at RHS in the past, like Beauty and the Beast (2013) and Hairspray (2014). It was first written as a children’s book by Roald Dahl.
“Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka is different because it was not originally meant for the stage or Broadway…Most of the other plays and musicals we’ve done in the past were originally written for the stage,” Dana Tobiassen said.
Overall, the musical was a huge hit. As the curtain closed, the cast was met with applause and many rushed to see the hardworking cast members after the show. Viewers of the play could buy flowers for cast or crew, as well as Willy Wonka themed candy. It is a magical way to end the 2017 theater season, and it celebrated the incredible talent at RHS.