'Willy Wonka Jr.'

The Ooompa-Loompa chorus from the CASTKidz production of 'Willy Wonka Jr.'

Volunteers who are making holiday events happen are not only in the spirit but working with the spirit on a daily basis, using the performing arts to enhance the excitement of the season.

CASTKidz presents “Willy Wonka Jr.,” bringing a merry story of make-believe to an audience this afternoon.

Monday evening, the Oxford Community Chorus will sing a variety of traditional and contemporary Christmas songs at the Oxford Performing Arts Center.

And Dec. 14, the Oxford Performing Arts Center presents “A Celtic Christmas” with the Atlanta Pops and Chloe Agnew, along with an art exhibit that just opened in the Martin-Lett Gallery.

Kids’ production of ‘Willy Wonka’

This afternoon marks the final performance for “Willy Wonka Jr.” at the Anniston Performing Arts Center. Tickets, $10 for everyone, may be bought at the door.

Because of all of the work on stage and numerous technical duties accomplished by students ages 5-17, the musical is a cause célèbre.

The show is directed by Judy Shealy, general director; Scott Whitney, musical director; and Carrie Colton, choreographer. Cheyenne Oliver and Whitney are tech directors.

Actors in the musical are:

  • Willy Wonka, Leila Acheson

  • Charlie Bucket, Bryant Whitney

  • Grandpa Joe, Fulton White

  • Violet Beauregarde, Beth Snyder

  • Veruca Salt, Sophie Shealy

  • Augustus Gloop, Parker Williams

  • Mike Teavee, Zach Cater

  • The Candy Man, Sterling Jenkins

  • Mr. Bucket, Jonas Abernathy

  • Mrs. Bucket, Ariel Erwin

  • The Oompa-Loompa Chorus

The story centers around a magical and mysterious candy factory owned by Willy Wonka. Now, as he hopes to retire, a worthy successor must be found. Five children are given an opportunity due to lucky tickets found in candy, and are put to the test. Staying true to the book by Roald Dahl and using the children’s vast imagination, everyone’s creativity in stagecraft is also put to the test.

“It’s about the CASTKidz’ perspective of this story and the production work they put into it to make it happen,” Colton said.

“The Lion King” is the next CASTKidz production, to be presented by the members of the organization, which now totals almost 100 students. Production dates are March 9 and 10.

Oxford Community Chorus Monday

Who can truly celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas without music? Choral music is the Oxford Community Chorus’ choice of preludes for the holidays, as they will demonstrate Monday evening at 7 p.m. at Oxford Performing Arts Center.

Parker Memorial Baptist Church’s instrumental ensemble will give a pre-show medley at 6:30 p.m., directed by Don Gober. The chorus is directed by Susan McCall and accompanied by Susan Lee.

There will be folk-style pieces such as “Light of a Clear Blue Morning,” written by Dolly Parton; “Christmas Memories,” an original piece by Auburn University professor Rosephanye Powell; sacred music songs such as “Glory Be to God” by Jean Burger; traditional seasonal pieces such as “Hallelujah Chorus” and “Sleigh Ride”; plus patriotic selections such as “Battle Hymn of the Republic.”

Bird paintings at OPAC

Birds are so interesting with their different sizes and markings, but it’s difficult to get close to see and study them. Viewing the acrylic paintings by John L. Denney in the Martin-Lett gallery at Oxford Performing Arts Center provides a chance to see these feathered beings up close.

Denney, an Alabama native who resides in Alexander City, uses his talent and the environment of Lake Martin to transform nature and wildlife into art.

He is a self-taught artist who has won numerous awards for his paintings and photography, including the Alabama Duck Stamp Competition three times and recognitions with his entries in the Alabama Wildlife Federation Art Show, including the Award of Excellence in 2014.

His photographs have appeared in Ducks Unlimited, Alabama Outdoors and Alabama Living magazines, and Denney’s graphic art is found nationwide on T-shirt designs and in catalogs.

The gallery is open Monday-Friday from 11 a.m.-6 p.m.. and during OPAC’s events.

JSU Christmas concert Nov. 25

Jacksonville State University’s A Cappella Choir and Chamber Singers, directed by Keith Moore, will perform a program of sacred music Nov. 25 at First United Methodist Church in Anniston at 2:30 p.m. More about the concert next week.

Hervey Folsom writes about the local arts scene every Sunday. Contact her at herveyfolsom@yahoo.com.