Millbrook Youth Ensemble to present ‘Annie’
LOCK HAVEN — The Millbrook Playhouse Youth Ensemble’s third annual holiday production, “Annie Junior, the Musical” will be presented Friday through Sunday, Dec. 15 to 17 at Lock Haven University’s Sloan Fine Arts Center.
One of America’s most beloved musicals, “Annie” is based on the popular comic strip by Harold Gray. With music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Martin Charnin, and a script by Thomas Meehan, it has won seven Tony Awards including Best Musical. It now has been adapted for young performers as “Annie Jr.”
The show, set in New York City in the 1930s, tells a story of friendship and the power of a positive attitude. Little Orphan Annie charms everyone’s hearts despite her difficult childhood. With the support of her friends, she is determined to find her parents who left her in the hands of the nasty Miss Hannigan. In the end. kindness beats all evils and Annie finds a loving home with Oliver Warbucks, his secretary, and everyone’s favorite pooch, Sandy.
The musical highlights include “Tomorrow,” “Easy Street,” “N.Y.C.” and “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile.”
The youth ensemble is an audition-based program designed to inspire, nurture and support young performers who have shown a dedication to the theatre. Derived from Millbrook Playhouse’s main stage season and summer educational programs, the talented young performers range in age from 7 to 17.
“They will be working together to create a professional theatre experience,” said director and choreographer Matt Spencer, who is Millbrook’s artistic associate. “Ensemble members must strive to better themselves as an artist and become a catalyst for positive change in their communities.”
Kendall Eichenlaub of Jersey Shore takes on the title role of Little Orphan Annie, and Daddy Warbucks is played by Troy Prebble of North Bend. Sharing the role of his secretary are Mackenzie Toner of Loganton and Abby Greevy of Jersey Shore. The evil Miss Hannigan is played by Katelyn Boyd of Mill Hall and Olivia Hanna of Lock Haven. In the role of Hannigan’s conniving brother Rooster will be Tyler Cygan of Lock Haven. The role of his sidekick Lilly will be shared by Kelly Long of Lock Haven and Sydney Neff of Loganton. Newcomer Elaina Packer of Woolrich will play Sandy, and Megan Spencer of Lock Haven will sing the role of the Star to Be.
The orphans will be played by Charlotte Fortescue of Lock Haven as Molly, Elizabeth Nestor of Lock Haven as Pepper, Daisy Samples of Lock Haven as Kate, Kenetcha Long of Lock Haven as Duffy, Claire Bowman of Mill Hall as Tessie, Maia Crowell of Lock Haven as July, Mattie Schlesinger of Lock Haven as June, and Elise Cygan of Lock Haven as Erla.
Rounding out the cast will be Garrett Cunningham of Woolrich as Drake, Olivia Miller of Lock Haven as Cecile, Hayden White as Bundles McCloskey, and Logan Dawes of Lock Haven as Bert Healy.
Musical direction is by Margaret Orbal, set coordinators are John Shaffer and Abby Palaski, costume coordinators are Linda Hughey and Jennifer Shaffer, and lighting design is by Brooke Reese.
“Annie Junior” will be performed Friday, Dec. 15 at 7 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 16 at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 17 at 2 p.m. at Sloan Fine Arts Center, corner of North Fairview Street and Akeley Lane.
The performance is approximately 60 minutes, with no intermission. The show is recommended for ages 4 and up.
Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students and children. A family pack is available for $40, which includes two adults and two children (limit one per family). For tickets, visit www.millbrookplayhouse.org or call 570-748-8083.