Hold your breath, make a wish and count to three.
The city of Henderson is preparing to unleash its pure imagination as it brings the Las Vegas Shakespeare Company’s rendition of “Willy Wonka” to town.
Performances are scheduled at 7:30 p.m. April 4, 5, 11 and 12 and 4 p.m. April 6 and 13 at the Henderson Pavilion, 200 S. Green Valley Parkway. Tickets are $10.
Willy Wonka is a character based in Roald Dahl’s 1964 book “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” The book was transformed into a movie in 1971 starring Gene Wilder and in 2005 starring Johnny Depp. Now, a musical adaptation makes its way to Henderson.
Gerry Born, the director of the play, said it’s been a process crafting the production for the stage.
“ ‘Willy Wonka’ has a bit of magic in it,” he said. “It’s been a challenge to bring that to the stage, but we have a few tricks up our sleeves.”
Instead of relying on the magic, Born wants to set this production a part from others by really bringing out the characters.
Despite having to come up with creative ways to pull off iconic scenes from the movie, the play is still expected to have some of the same elements.
The production will feature songs from the 1971 movie such as “Cheer Up Charlie,” “Pure Imagination” and “The Oompa Loompa Song.”
Born said he has been guiding the cast to explore the characters to bring their attributes to life. He hopes the audience will have moments it identifies with them.
“There are points where we think, ‘I’m glad those are not my kids,’ ” Born said.
“We have all had the moment in the supermarket where our child has a tantrum because they want something,” he said. “At that moment, we are the Salts.”
He was referring to spoiled Wonka character Veruca Salt, known for her song “I Want It Now.”
Born added there are times where parents give in and let children be on the iPad or watch television, in which they can relate to the Teevee family.
“We are bringing that humanity to the audience,” he said. “They can all say, ‘I’ve been there,’ or ‘I know how that feels.’ ”
For some members of the cast, the play brings them back to the first time they saw “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.”
“I remember going home after I saw the movie and telling my mother I was really troubled by him,” said Timothy Cummings, who plays Wonka. “He was very strange and standoffish.”
Cummings said getting into the Wonka character has been a fun process.
“He is a little Howard Hughes and a little J.D. Salinger,” he said.
Whether it’s for nostalgia or just a fun night at the theater, Born said there is something for everyone.
“It’s going to be a great night out,” he said.
For more information, visit hendersonlive.com.
Contact Henderson View reporter Michael Lyle at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-5201. Follow on Twitter @mjlyle.