36 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY APRIL 4-10, 2024 www.montereycountyweekly.com ONSTAGE Monterey Peninsula College’s main stage—the Morgan Stock—is reopening after five years of silence. The college was without a Theatre and Performing Arts Department chair since 2019. They finally hired Todd Siff, who started in fall of 2023. He is a theater practitioner and educator who is willing to take on a challenge. “We decided to go big or go home,” Siff says about the performance selected for the theater’s return, Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka. “To honor the history of this stage, we wanted something splashy and recognizable—a musical.” If anyone can deliver, it’s a veteran educator who once created a theater program from scratch and led it for five years. As department chair at Florida Gateway College, he went from zero to delivering five plays a year and engaging about 50 students. “The story of Willy Wonka mirrors what we are trying to build here,” Siff explains. “He is creating a candy factory and making it as great as possible— just like we do with our theater group.” Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka follows an enigmatic candy manufacturer as he stages a contest by hiding golden tickets in five of his scrumptious candy bars. It’s a musical based on the film from 1971, which was based on Dahl’s 1964 book, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The play includes songs from the movie, such as “Pure Imagination.” “It has this theater magic,” Siff says. “There’s flying, tricks, amazing costumes. We even have a live camera and some pre-filmed elements to involve technology, which is part of children’s life today.” The musical has a cast of 36 actors, six students in the orchestra and six in a technical crew. Only five of the cast are not MPC students, but longtime local community actors. Students pretty much run the show, directed by Siff. Dahl’s story is about an underdog, which is part of the stereotype of community college students, Siff argues. “Theater allows students to learn confidence, collaboration and build a community among themselves,” he adds. He also plans for a short play festival in May. For now, Morgan Stock Stage is functional and Siff is excited: “There’s a lot of working equipment and great costumes there.” Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka is performed 7pm Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays; 2pm Sundays, April 4-21. Monterey Peninsula College Morgan Stock Stage, 980 Fremont St., Monterey. $7-$20. A special opening night reception takes place Friday, April 5 and involves eating chocolate. 645-1360, mpc.vbotickets.com. COURTESY OF MONTEREY PENINSULA COLLEGE Dahl Parts MPC’s Morgan Stock Stage is finally back in action, and its first production back is a big one. By Agata Pop˛eda Have you ever wanted to work in a chocolate factory or, better yet, own one? Willy Wonka shows the way. The musical is a homage to the 1971 film by Mel Stuart. Peninsul ’ Downtow Shops, restaurants, hotels and businesses Spend some time with us Downtown… oldmonterey.org ’23 Celebrating 10 years in Downtown! Sunday–Thursday 11:30am-10pm Friday–Saturday 11:30am-11pm 426 Alvarado St. Monterery 831-655-BEER asb.beer Monterey County’s BEST LOCAL BEER/BREWERY BEST BAR FOR MILLENIALS BEST BAR FOR GEN XERS 11:30am-close, 10am Sat & Sun 484 Washington Street Downtown Monterey 831.643.9525 www.melvilletav.com WOOD FIRED PIZZAS, BURGERS, PASTA, SALADS & SANDWICHES INDOOR, PATIO DINING & TAKEOUT HAPPY HOUR FOOD & DRINK SPECIALS DAILY 4-6PM WEEKEND BRUNCH 447 Alvarado St • Monterey • 375-5332 www.gaspersjewelers.com Voted Monterey’s Best Jewelry Store 20 years MASSAGE | FACIALS | STRETCH MONTEREY 595 Munras Ave Monterey, CA 93940 (831) 920-0272 MASSAGE | FACIALS | STRETCH MONTEREY 595 Munras Ave Monterey, CA 93940 (831) 920-0272 595 Munras Ave Monterey (831) 920-0272 24/7 Booking at MASSAGEENVY.COM New Owners reputable local commercial real estate developer 48-year operating history $100k minimum investment call: 831-718-8096 email: info@oroscogroup.com Earn 8% Interest Guaranteed Earn 8% Interest Guaranteed Reputable local commercial real estate developer 48-year operating history $100k minimum investment call 831-718-8096 email info@oroscogroup.com Divided Requiem by Paul Donnely Declaration of Independence by Dan Maurer e Unknowns by Kacie Michelle Leo & Rosa by Adam Szudrich e Mavisville March by Karen Devaney Tickets on eventbrite for both nights Call (831)-664-6587 Lighthouse Cinema and Event Center 525 Lighthouse Blvd, Paci c Grove SOAPBOX STAGEWORKS presents A Spring Fling of One Act Plays May 3 & 4 • 7 PM Admission: $35