Talented students bring ‘Annie’ to stage

On March 2, Lakehill’s seventh and eighth grade musical theater students brought “Annie, Jr.” to the Lakehill stage.

Based on the popular comic strip and adapted from the Tony Award-winning Best Musical, with a beloved book and score by Tony Award-winners, Thomas Meehan, Charles Strouse, and Martin Charnin, “Annie Jr.” featured everyone’s favorite little redhead in her first adventure.

Ella Berry led the outstanding cast as Annie. Her singing voice and stage presence were perfectly in tune with Annie’s pluck and positivity. Will Gorman displayed billionaire Oliver Warbucks’s transformation from gruff businessman to loving father with great heart. Aleena Wallace was endearing as his faithful assistant, Grace Farrell. Megan Blomquist was a scene stealer as Lily St. Regis. Blomquist, Dasha Ramey as Miss Hannigan, and Spencer Neill as her con artist brother Rooster, provided a strong rendition of the classic “Easy Street” as well as great comedy. As Annie’s lovable dog Sandy, Luke Williams was adorably loyal.

Ensemble member Madison Deason had a standout moment during “NYC,” singing and tap dancing in her featured solo. The production also featured musical performances from Katherine Gluck on saxophone and Tristan Osang on piano. The ensemble of orphans had the audience singing along to the favorite “It’s the Hard Knock Life.”

The musical was co-directed by Mark Guerra and Tracy Herron. “Musical Theater is a great way for these kids to really show us what they’ve got, ”Guerra said.

Ella Berry (left) and Will Gorman. Photo by Edwin Neill