Friday, June 16, 2017

Congratulations to our Grand Prize Golden Ticket winners

Congratulations to our Grand Prize Golden Ticket winners, Jen Florent and her daughter, Hannah. They won two season passes to the 2018 Muni Season.

The Florents discovered their Golden Ticket in their program at the Thursday night performance of Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka, presented by Springfield Clinic. They were then put into a drawing along with all of our other Golden Ticket winners who discovered their Golden Tickets at various locations throughout Springfield. 

·  Rachel Hadley (Mel-O-Cream Donuts)
·  Rachel Mander and Kim Draper (Landmark Chrysler Jeep Fiat)
·  Dapo Arogundade (Davis Cleaners)
·  Ashley May (WICS ABC Newschannel 20
·  Jill Hiler (Pease's at Bunn Gourmet)

The Muni received a lot of great feedback from those who participated in the "Finding the Golden Ticket" promotion. Thanks so much!


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka makes its debut at the Springfield Municipal Opera

Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka makes its debut at the Springfield Municipal Opera
Muni’s 200th producation opens Friday, June 9

Springfield, IL – June 6, 2017 – The Springfield Municipal Opera (The Muni) opens its 2017 season with Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka, sponsored by Springfield Clinic and directed by Mac Warren. The production will run June 9-11 and 14-18. Curtain time is 8:30 p.m.

This will be the first time Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka will be performed on The Muni stage. This musical  combines elements of both Roald Dahl's book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and of the 1971 movie Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. The original version premiered on Broadway in 2004.

Roald Dahl's timeless story follows a world famous candy man and his quest to find an heir. The adventures experienced by Charlie Bucket on his visit to Willy Wonka's mysterious chocolate factory light up the stage in this captivating adaptation of Roald Dahl's fantastical tale. Jeff Prince of Rochester plays Willy Wonka, while Susan Wheeler, also of Rochester, plays Charlie Bucket. .

The stage production's first act follows Charlie Bucket and each child as they find their Golden Ticket while the second act takes place in the Wonka Chocolate factory.  I was excited to see how close the factory scenes were to the movie,” said Prince.

Warren, who last directed Spamalot at the Springfield Muni, says this show features many talented kids of all ages. “For about half our children (Oompa Loompas) this is their first Muni show,” said Warren. “Plus for the first time ever, we also went back to the children that were not cast and offered them a special opportunity through a program we call the Muni Trolls.  For the kids that signed up to participate, we provided a basic skills workshop and then have been teaching them choreo and vocals for two songs they will perform just prior to intermission.”

Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka will be the 200th production to take The Muni stage. The Muni is asking anyone who has taken part in a past Muni show to come out on Saturday, June 10 (in their old show shirts if they still have them) and be recognized. The Muni will also feature free, special activities before the show every night from 7-8 p.m. There will also be a “Finding the Golden Ticket” Facebook contest the week the show opens.
Throughout the run, two types of seating arrangements are available – Reserved Seating and General Admission (lawn seating.) The price of Reserved Seating is $17/15 for adults and General Admission is $12 for Adults and $10 for children 12 and under.

On Family Night, ticket prices for children are $10 for a Reserved seat and $5 for the General Admission section. Additionally, Thursday, June 15 is Senior Night. On Senior Night, ticket prices are reduced to $10 for Reserved Seating and $5 for General Admission. A Senior Shuttle Bus Service, sponsored by the King’s Daughters Organization, will also run on Senior Night. 

An interpreted performance for the hearing impaired is scheduled for Sunday, June 11.

Reserved Seating tickets can be purchased in advance online – – or by calling or visiting the Sangamon Auditorium Box Office at 217-793-MUNI (6864.) Patrons can also purchase Reserved Seating and General Admission tickets on-site at The Muni’s Box Office, which opens 90 minutes prior to curtain time.

About The Muni

The Springfield Municipal Opera (The Muni) is a not-for-profit theatrical organization that has become a Springfield summer tradition, providing the best of Broadway to enthusiastic audiences for more than 50 years. Located at 815 East Lake Drive in an outdoor amphitheater, The Muni is one of the largest all-volunteer community theatre organizations in the nation. For more information on The Muni, please visit

Meet Grandpa Joe! A Q&A with Jim Dahlquist

What is your favorite part about this role?
Helping Charlie survive Willy Wonka’s factory tour. Susan Wheeler is a joy to work with and she’s doing a wonderful job as Charlie.

What has been the biggest challenge during rehearsals?
Getting to know everyone, especially the younger performers. We have a large cast and many people rehearse at different times so for the first few weeks I only saw the oompa-loompas in passing at the stage doors.

What has helped you to get to know your fellow cast members and gel with them?
The Bucket Family is a riot! I spend most of the first act in a bed with three other grandparents while Charlie and the Bucket parents must figure out creative ways to interact with us. We laugh a lot in between scenes. And since the Bucket Shack isn’t very big, it’s easy to whisper and bond with the other actors.

What’s your favorite song and why?
This is tough to answer since there are several entertaining numbers. All of the golden ticket winners do such a good job with their songs. I would have to say my favorite number, though, is “I’ve Got a Golden Ticket” since this is when I finally get to escape my bed.

How did you get involved in Muni, and when?
It’s been 20 years since my first Muni show, when I played Benny Southstreet in 1997’s Guys and Dolls. I had been active with community theater in the Chicago area so when I moved to Springfield I again sought out performing opportunities. Springfield fortunately has a strong theater community, including the Muni.

What is it about Muni that keeps you coming back?

The Muni has created an amazing theater tradition. You meet a wealth of creative, talented people, many of whom become lifelong friends. From the impressive sets, costumes, sound and lighting systems, to of course the vast network of volunteers, it is a privilege to be a part of this incredible summer experience.