Willy's Candy Spectacular Enlists Original Veruca Salt for Latest Demo Track

Julie Dawn Cole offers the intro for the latest demo, "I Was Never That Way."

Willy's Candy Spectacular, the upcoming stage musical inspired by the disastrous, unauthorized Willy Wonka Experience in Glasgow, Scotland that went viral thanks to some wild, meme-able elements including the creepy warehouse it was hosted in, a strange character called The Unknown, and even some questionable Oompa Loompas, has just released its latest demo track — and Veruca Salt herself is involved. Julie Dawn Cole, who played Veruca Salt in the iconic 1971 film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory teamed up with the musical to introduce the new video for "I Was Never That Way". You can check the video with Cole's introduction out for yourself below.

According to Willy's Candy Spectacular, the song "I Was Never That Way" depicts a group of struggling actors hired to portray child actors from Willy's Candy Spectacular. However, a glitch in the AI-generated script leads the characters to appear as adults with children of their own. The video features Rob Minkoff, Tommy Hobson, Nicole Greenwood, Cass Parker, and T.J. Wilkins.

"The song satirizes the hypocrisy of how each generation lives in denial of their past foibles while blaming their own children for the exact same behaviors," says show producer Richard Kraft.

"It's not every day I get a chance to parody so many musical styles within the same song," songwriter Jennifer Lucy Cook said. "When a bit of polka is next to cowboy, rock, and even a little classic Broadway, it creates an absurd chaos that was an enormous amount of fun to put together!"

What is Willy's Candy Spectacular?

Announced in March, Willy's Candy Spectacular: A Musical Parody (formerly titled Willy Fest: A musical Parody) is a satirical musical production inspired viral Glasgow pop-event that took the internet by storm. Willy's Candy Spectacular is produced by Kraft-Engel Productions and features a creative team that includes Riki Lindhome (Garfunkel and Oates, Another Period), Tova Litvin & Doug Rockwell (High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, Julie & The Phantoms), Alan Zachary & Michael Weiner (First Date, Once Upon a Time) and Daniel Mertzlufft (Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical, Grumpy Monkey: The Musical).

"From Broadway to street corner pop-ups, audiences have become obsessed with immersive experiences that enable them to be a part of the story," Zachary and Weiner said in a statement. "But it takes a special kind of magic to devastate children and adults alike – and it feels like the only way to find meaning in this chocolate-less catastrophe… is to sing about it."

"This could be Waiting For Guffman but with scam artists" Lindhome echoed.

"When the inspiration for a parody has a con artist, ChatGPT, a mysterious wedding and crying children, it's hard to resist," Litvin and Rockwell added. "Who wouldn't want to write a musical about an experience that goes from joy, to fear, to why the f*** am I here?"

Willy's Candy Spectacular previously released videos for "Willy's Candy Spectacular", "the post-apocalyptic opening number that traces the downfall of civilization back to the disastrous events in Glasgow" featuring John Stamos, as well as "Where Dreams Go to Fly" and "Dreamed to Dare".