‘Unwicked Witch’ opens Thursday at the Vista Theater in Negaunee

Audrey Lyons, 12, who plays Wobble in the upcoming Vista Theater production of “The Unwicked Witch,” helps to put letters on the theater marquee along Iron Street in Negaunee. Tickets for the lighthearted, family-friendly production — which opens Thursday — can be purchased at the door. (Journal photo by Lisa Bowers)

NEGAUNEE — Just in time for Halloween, co-directors Bill Hager and Kim Joki are bringing the spooky children’s comedy “The Unwicked Witch” to the Vista Theater stage.

A fresh new cast will tell the story of three zany witches — named Hobble, played by Rhonda Numikoski; Gobble, played by Leah Novak, age 14; and Wobble, portrayed by 12-year-old Negaunee Middle School student Audrey Lyons — who try to teach young Winona to be a witch, but she cannot get the hang of it.

Hilarity ensues when Luke, who is portrayed by John Schooler, and his grandfather Sad Simon, played by Kim Joki, move into the witches’ untidy house and start cleaning out its lovingly preserved cobwebs and the two parties eventually encounter one another.

Lyons said her favorite thing about working with the small cast, which ranges in age from 7 years old to adult, is a common dedication to the art of theater.

“It’s the people really,” Lyons said. “Everyone, even though some express it more than others, have truly fallen in love with the characters they play. My character, Wobble, is not very much like me because she is quite a wicked person — although in the end you do see she has a heart, and people tell me I am very kind.”

Co-director Bill Hager said the show will be a nice ‘treat’ for young kids this time of year.

“This kind of thing gets kids interested in seeing live theater rather than looking at Youtube or the TV and that sort of thing,” Hager said. “And there is that certain magic that happens. I thought it would be something new for the Vista. I don’t know that it’s ever been done at the Vista.”

“The Unwicked Witch” performances will be at 7 p.m., Thursday, Friday and Saturday, with a special matinee performance at 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $5 per person or $20 for a group of five and are available at the door.


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