THEY kick off the production with two of the biggest numbers, ‘Maybe’ and ‘It’s a Hard Knock Life’, and from then on the orphans of New York’s Municipal Girls Orphanage own the stage and the show.
That’s the beauty of the Broadway musical Annie and for the remainder of the production the action revolves around them and waiting for them to come back on again.
It’s why being chosen as one of the 15 ‘Little Girls’ in Annie is such a privilege and certain to be a lifelong memory for those who will be centerstage when Leongatha Lyric Theatre’s production of Annie opens next Friday night.
Director of the show, Kerryn Lockhart, said recently that agonising over the selection of the orphans was the hardest part of the preparations by far.
“We’ve been just blown away. We had over 85 kids audition for the show and it took a while to narrow it down. It was really quite a heart-wrenching experience going through all those kids and making sure each one of them was given a fair go,” said Kerryn recently.
“We’re really happy with the 15 girls we’ve got in the show and they’re talent is just unbelievable,” she said, adding that dozens more of those who auditioned would have been fantastic as well.
But it’s a huge commitment too, said Kerryn, and many of those in the show and their families have put their lives on hold during rehearsals and especially in the last few weeks.
Coordinator of the production, Anne Hemming, could not be more delighted with the children, their commitment and their exemplary behavior during the rehearsal period.
“The standard of the performances, and the level of excitement of course, has really lifted since we got into Mesley Hall especially when you add the fantastic sets, inspired by Colin Mitchell, and the orchestra and all the rest,” said Anne.
“We had a big weekend of rehearsals last weekend and we’ve got Monday, Tuesday and Thursday nights to run the show before Friday’s opening.”
Ticket sales are already going strongly and while there are still plenty available, they’ll go like hotcakes after the show opens, if the quality of the rehearsals is anything to go by… book now so you don’t miss out.