Review: “Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka” is delightful.

Contributed by: Ernie Marvin |

Central Park Players marked its triumphant return to the Grand Haven Community Center with its fall production of “Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka,” based on his book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The music and lyrics were written by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley.

Director Trudi Kerkstra, along with her assistant directors, Miranda Plescher and Rachel Bethke, did an outstanding job with a large cast of actors of all ages. The music was familiar and wonderful. A strong performance by Andrew Kitchka as Willy Wonka was complemented by a cast of wonderful characters who came alive with great energy and excitement.

The wonderful Oompa Loompas were only one facet of this well-cast and choreographed musical. A large number of young people, obviously enjoying themselves, danced and sang their way throughout this fast paced production. The costumes were wonderful and the rest of the technical crew filled in to make this a cohesive and exciting evening.

If you have youngsters you’d like to introduce to the arts and/or theater, this show is a must see. There is a matinee Sunday Oct. 16 at 2:00 p.m. The final two shows are October 21 and 22 with 7:30 curtain time. Call 616-843- 3906 for ticket information.

Truly delightful is the best way to describe “…Willy Wonka.” Our community is truly blessed to have Central Park Players entertaining us for 59 years. You can get more information concerning future productions by going to


photo by Rachel Kaye Bethke

Categories: Theatre

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