If you want to view paradise, head to Edgewood Middle School this weekend.
The Highland Park Players will perform "Willy Wonka" on Saturday and Sunday this weekend and next. The community theatre group will perform a 65-minute version of Roald Dahl's famous story about a candy maker and the bratty children he accepts into his factory.
"This hits all the fun parts of 'Willy Wonka' that most of us remember," said Highland Park Players board and cast member Jamie Davidson.
Each year, Highland Park Players performs a show for young audiences, according to Davidson. These performances are interactive, small scale productions that typically last a little over an hour. Last year, the Players performed Aladdin.
"It does it really quick and keeps the young audience really interested," Davidson said.
Producer Krista Koutsis said an important part of assembling "Willy Wonka" was building a convincing Wonka Land. The group invested its energy into set and costume designs to try and capture the colorful, fantastical touch people remember from the book and two Wonka movies.
"We're really going to carry that through the entire production," Koutsis said. "We want the whole experience to become kind of Wonkified."
The show will include songs from the movie like "Pure Imagination," "I Want It Now" and "Oompa Loompa." Davidson, who plays the candy man who gives Charlie his golden ticket, is excited to sing "The Candy Man."
"He shows up and all the kids are so excited and then he sings about how excited he is to be the candy man," Davidson said. "I'm really happy to get that song."
Those more fond of Gene Wilder's Willy Wonka than Johnny Depp's need not fear. This production veers more towards the 1964 film than Tim Burton's.
"We tried to stay much more true to the book and the Gene Wilder movie interpretation," Koutsis said. "Wonka is a funny character, he's a quirky guy who really is a visionary in a lot of ways. He's got a good heart and he's really working to find the best in people."
For more news and updates from Highland Park Patch, "like" us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.