Youth theater group raises curtain on musical

HASTINGS, Neb. -- Young kids ranging in age from the third grade to eighth grade will take the stage this weekend in Grand Island for some musical magic.

Debut! Youth Theater Company will present Willy Wonka, Junior. Shows are Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights at 7:00 p.m. at the Northwest High School Auditorium.

Cast member Preston Ramaekers, speaking on NBC Nebraska News at Midday, says they take the traditional Willy Wonka story and present it with the twist of a youthful cast. Ranaekers plays the role of Willy Wonka.

Owen Luebbe, who plays Charlie Bucket - who he calls the one "good kid" in the group - says doing theater in the summer is more fun for him than hanging out at the pool.

Debut! Youth Theater Company was founded in 2012 with the intention of helping younger students experience musical theater before they reach high school.

Tickets are $8.00 for adults, $5.00 for children 4 through 12. Under three is admitted free.