As the curtains roll, you see children lying on their beds. The children are dirty and tired, they are orphans. You see a child with bright red curly hair, they call her Annie. “Tomorrow, Tomorrow, I’ll love ya tomorrow, you’re only a day away..” softly sings the orphan Annie. The All Saints’ Middle School production of Annie, Jr. was a spectacular performance which brought this American classic to life.
“The best thing about Annie is that she’s not afraid to speak her mind,” said Ella Hiley ’22, who played Annie. “My favorite scene was ‘Hard Knock Life.’ The hardest part about being Annie was hitting the high notes in ‘Tomorrow.’” Hiley did an exceptional job with the singing, dancing, and acting involved in the production. Her singing was on-pitch, and her convincing acting let you forget you were watching a performance.
Tiffany Adams ’22, who played Miss Hannigan, admired her character for being apathetic and “out-there.” Tiffany says hitting everything in chest voice and getting the harmonies in “Easy Street” was tough but she enjoyed every minute, especially the Easy Street reprise. Adams made the whole auditorium laugh with her portrayal of Miss Hannigan. She pulled off the evil character and really embodied the mean Miss Hannigan.
Hiley and Adams are not new to the theater, having participated in the 6th grade production of Snow White. They both plan to pursue musical theater in high school and are excited for the years to come.
Kole Kuenstler ’21 said that the biggest challenge in taking on this role of Oliver “Daddy” Warbucks was memorizing the many lines he had.
“The scene where I am on the phone with the president and I give Annie the locket was my favorite,” said Kuenstler. Kuenstler’s performance was so magnificent because he really brought to life the iconic Daddy Warbucks. His singing, dancing, acting skills were impeccable because he worked a tremendous amount of time perfecting these things. Kuenstler was cast in the Middle School production of Elf last year but is not sure if he wants to participate in musical theater in high school.
Ms. Nickell, the Middle School theater arts teacher, was the producer of this show and she was incredibly proud of her students for their hard work and dedication to Annie. She said the hardest part about pulling this off was scheduling because the kids are juggling so much with school and sports. Annie is a production, Ms. Nickell says, she has adored her whole life and although she enjoyed all of the scenes, her favorites were “Hard Knock Life” and “NYC.”
The All Saints’ Middle School production of Annie was a must-see and the kids truly did an amazing job putting together the beloved American classic. The Middle School students involved in the play put so much time and dedication into the musical that Gonzo awarded all 35 of them a full week of free dress.
Disclaimer: I saw the Saturday 11:00 a.m. performance of Annie with Kole Kuenstler ’21 as Daddy Warbucks. However, Taz Wooten ’21 performed the role of Daddy Warbucks in other performances.