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‘Charlie’ plays to a packed house

May 17, 2018
By ED FRANKS (efranks@breezenewspapers.com) , Pine Island Eagle

The Pine Island Playhouse's latest production, "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," again proved to be a smash as full-house crowds filled Pine Island United Methodist Church for the weekend performances.

"I'm very pleased with the turnout," William Tidball, co-owner of CW Fudge, said Sunday afternoon. "All three performances, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the house was packed. I would estimate as many as 2,400 people saw these performances. But then again, who wouldn't want to join Charlie Bucket in his adventurous tour of Willy Wonka's world-famous Chocolate Factory."

Tidball, who played Charlie's father, Mr. Bucket, described the play as "a musical comedy that follows Charlie Bucket and four other contest winners as they are led through a tour of Willie Wonka's Chocolate Factory."

Article Photos

Paul Pichon as Willie Wonka in the Pine Island Playhouse Production. All of the weekend performances were held at Pine Island Methodist Church.

ED FRANKS

"This is just a natural for CW Fudge," Tidball said. "The characters of Augustus Gloop, Violet Beauregarde, Veruca Salt, Grandpa George, Grandma Georgina, Willy Wonka and Charlie himself all come to life and discover the true meaning of teamwork, self-confidence and self-esteem."

The play kicks off at the Bucket family home with Mr. Bucket reading the Pine Island Eagle. Mr. Bucket announces that four winners of the "Golden Ticket" have been announced while the fifth is still unknown. Charlie is sent out for cabbage for the family's cabbage stew and finds a coin in the snow. Using the coin, Charlie buys a Wonka Whipple-Scrumtious Fudgemallow Delight, inside the candy bar is the fifth "Golden Ticket," and the next 90 minutes are an exciting tour of the chocolate factory.

The extensive cast included narrators, the Bucket family and 11 Oompa Loompas, who sing and dance their way throughout the play. Then there's Willie Wonka, played to the max by Paul Pinchon, who takes the five Golden Ticket winners and the capacity crowd audience on a tour of the chocolate factory.

Making the most of a tiny budget but a talented cast, Nichole Pichon, Pine Island Playhouse director, cast and crew all scored a home run with this play with 90 minutes of funny, scary and entertaining performance.

"This show has been a lot of fun," Pichon said. "I always enjoy working with big casts like this. The ages within this production range from 10-90 and community theatre is a wonderful way for young and old to work together."

Since its start in 2013, The Pine Island Playhouse has performed award-winning plays such as "Little Women," "A Christmas Carol," "Miracle Worker," "Frankenstein," "Miracle on 34th Street" and "The Diary of Anne Frank."

CW Fudge sponsored the play. There was a wide assortment of fudge, salt water taffy and popcorn available. CW Fudge is located in Matlacha.

Pine Island Methodist Church, which hosts each of the Pine Island Playhouse performances, is located at 5701 Pine Island Road.

 
 

 

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