SOAR to debut with “Willie Wonka” musical starting July 27

Noah Gilbertson, ERHS student, playing Charlie Bucket, holds aloft a golden ticket in this scene from “Willie Wonka.” The youthful cast members flanking him are (from left) Kari Lenneman, Katlyn Rohrer, Abigail Howse, Jonathan Haller, Lucas Greenwaldt, Gabrielle Lien and Isaac Branjord.


The debut performance of SOAR Regional Arts will be “Willie Wonka the Musical,” slated to open next Friday.

This group, based in St. Michael, has actors mainly from St. Michael, Otsego, Albertville and Rogers. It was created to give theater hopefuls a chance to perform.

“Willie Wonka” is based on Roald Dahl’s timeless story of a world-famous candy man and his quest to find an heir by placing Golden Tickets in five chocolate bars, with the lucky ones finding a ticket invited to tour the factory. The lead character, Charlie Bucket, a poor teen played by Noah Gilbertson of Elk River, comes upon the final ticket after an act of kindness.

The dates are July 27, 28 and 29, and Aug. 2, 3, 4 and 5, at St. Michael-Albertville High School’s spacious new auditorium. More on this production in next week’s paper. For tickets, the group’s website is