'Willy Wonka' Arrives Early To Adjust To Altitude
DENVER (CBS4)- The Broadway tour of "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory the New Musical" includes actors from all over the country. The performance is on stage at the Buell Theatre at the DCPA through July 28.
Well aware that Denver is a mile high; the actor who plays Willy Wonka arrived a week early to get some tips on how to adjust to the altitude.
"Your life's about to change now, so don't get left behind" are some of the lyrics sung by Willy Wonka in the musical.
Life changed for Noah Weisberg last August at the start of the tour. Playing Wonka, the eccentric owner of a mysterious chocolate factory is Noah's golden ticket and it's intense.
"I'm already a thin guy, but I've lost about 20 pounds doing the role," he said.
Bringing it to the Buell Theater in the Mile High city for a three week run has had him worried for months.
"I'm out of breath as it is during certain numbers because it's super physical," Noah told CBS4 Health Specialist Kathy Walsh.
So, Noah arrived a week early and made an appointment with the UCHealth High Altitude Clinic.
"Six days a week, we do eight shows," Noah told Dr. James Maloney, a pulmonologist.
Maloney understood the challenges.
"You're going to notice, I think, in your rehearsals you don't quite have the 'umph' like you would have like in LA," Maloney explained.
The doctor suggested hydrating, staying in shape and getting good sleep.
"Your body's going to get used to these slightly lower oxygen levels and make adjustments," Maloney said.
"The doctor put me at ease that it's not a huge thing," said a relieved Noah.
The actor learned there's no need to gulp oxygen off stage. With more frequent deep breaths, Willy should still be able to work his magic.
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