‘Willy Wonka’s Wondershow’ to entertain local families Friday

HAMILTON — With magic up his sleeves and wonder in his eyes, Mr. Wonka will give audiences a chance to prove themselves worthy of a Golden Ticket.

“David Engel will return to the Fitton Center with ‘Willy Wonka’s Wondershow.’ People might remember him from ‘Pirate School’ and the ‘Wizard Academy!’ shows that he did live, here at the Fitton Center. He’s an incredible one-man show,” said Ian MacKenzie-Thurley, executive director of the Fitton Center.

Before the start of the production, there will be a complimentary reception by Two Women in a Kitchen with kid-friendly food and drink that will be served in the Carruthers Signature Ballroom at 6:30 p.m. To purchase tickets, go to www.fittoncenter.org.

Engel, a New York-based performer, travels the country to bring his distinctive shows to the stage. In addition to clowning, he has enjoyed a wide-ranging career as an accomplished stage, commercial, television and film actor. His shows are full of fun, laughter and energy.

“I’ve been an eccentric clown for over 30 years as well as an actor on the stage and screen. In fact, I’ve done shows at the Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati several times and I loved my time in Cincy,” said David Engel.

He said, “I have created a staple of different shows over the years that are self-contained variety shows, hearkening back to the old days of vaudeville. So, all of my characters are akin to Mr.. Bean, or Monty Python-style clowns.”

While audiences won’t see big shoes, or clown make-up, like a circus clown, theatergoers will experience comedy firsthand through participation. Kids will encounter magic, puppetry and more.

“The title of my show is ‘Mr. Wonka’s Wondershow,’ and it accesses Roald Dahl’s character of Willy Wonka, and it puts a little twist on it,” Engel said. “It departs from that piece, and it allows everybody to reconnect with the wonder of seeing things through the eyes of a child, and for the kids in the audience, it’s a wonderous place of invention,” Engel said.

As part of the Fitton Family Fridays series this season, the entire family will enjoy performances by local children’s theater companies, puppet shows, live ballet, and musical theater as well as interactive events.

Also, kids will have a chance to go behind-the-scenes and interact with the actors and performers. They’ll learn more about what it’s like to rehearse for a play or a musical. And there is a Q & A session after the show, so kids can ask questions, and find out what it takes to put on the production.

How to go

What: Willy Wonka’s Wondershow

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Where: The Fitton Center for Creative Arts, 101 S. Monument Ave., Hamilton

Cost: Tickets for the event are $6 for members; $8 for non-members. Includes a complimentary reception with kid-friendly food by Two Women in a Kitchen.

More: www.fittoncenter.org or (513) 863-8873 ext. 110.

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