Tuesday, July 26, 2011


It's the 40th Anniversary of the 1971 WILLY WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY movie. I turned 40 this year, too. So to celebrate, we're producing WILLY WONKA THE MUSICAL with Wellington Children's/Community Theater. I'm knee deep in Oompa-Loompas, and loving it!

I have to confess that I'm having more fun than a director ought to have, because these kids have SO much talent and energy! And there are so many cool effects and fun sets involved.

But let's talk about Roald Dahl, the author of CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY. As a writer, he broke all kinds of bounds and he broke some rules, too. I mean, alliterative characters (Grandpa George, Grandma Georgina??) and obvious morals, to name a couple. But who doesn't love it? I sure do.

So look out for some fun film facts and production updates in the upcoming weeks. If you could play any character from the show or book, who would it be? (I cast myself as Mrs. Gloop. My husband is playing Wonka.)

What's your favorite Roald Dahl book?

Did you know that the girls playing Veruca and Violet in the '71 version both had a crush on the kid who played Charlie? You can see a little fight between them on the boat ride. Check out Charlie's look of surprise. He was clueless.

Fred Astaire wanted to be Wonka in that movie. Can you imagine how different it would have been? Astaire was much closer than Gene Wilder to the proper age for a retiring chocolate factory owner, but I love Gene Wilder's performance.

Okay, your turn!


  1. Hands down - James and the Giant Peach is my favorite. :)

  2. I think I had my first literary sensory experience when I read CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY. I could taste those Wonka bars. I love icky Mrs. Pratchett in BOY.

  3. What fun facts about WILLY WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY! And I love that he broke bounds and rules. It's so great when an author does that, gets away with it, and then the book's wonderful to read.

    Oh how I wish I could see you and your family in the play! I am always so astounded at how talented you are and at what wonderful things you do!

    Break a leg, Michelle!

  4. Hi you wonderful Michelle! I wanted to pop over and say hey cuz I miss you! How did your summer go? Did your play go swimmingly? Of course it did!

    I'm so sad because my kids are back in school - oh how I miss them! (This is their second week of school.)

    I hope so much that everything is amazingly marvelous for you! I can't wait to see that your book was sold to a publisher!

  5. Aww, thanks, Brenda! You can see from my blog hiatus that summer has been busier than usual! Our show actually opens Oct. 21st, so we're still in the thick of rehearsals. But thanks for the vote of confidence--I'm hanging on to it!

    We homeschool, so I'm missing the snatches of time to myself that I find in the summer ;) But that's what evening walks are for, right?

    And thanks for the vote of confidence on the book, too! I'll hang on to that as well!