Opening weekend for Annie was finally upon us, and the week started out with a bang as Asa was featured on the cover of our weekly newspaper!!!! They did a nice two-page spread on the production and on the wonderful theatre organization that we've been blessed to be a part of. Since the theatre group is a non-profit, this was a wonderful opportunity to showcase their organization.
Speaking of which, the theatre group, Upstart Crow Studios, is in the running for a Pepsi Grant, which would bring them $25k, enough money to install a curtain, buy microphones, and create an entrance to the theatre. Please take the time to vote (you can vote once a day) for this amazing youth organization.
From mid-week on there it just got more and more exciting as the dress rehearsals wound to their chaotic close, the original dog playing "Sandy" backed out and I crazily volunteered my own 7-month-old mutt to fill her paws, and the other girl playing Annie in the double-cast show came down with pneumonia, leaving Asa to open on Friday night as well as her originally scheduled weekend shows. Then, mid-week Asa herself started getting sick, and I hit her with an arsenal of herbal remedies and enforced down-time, and she managed to make it to opening night with her vocal chords intact.
I saw the show on Saturday night, and to say I was blown away would be an understatement. Now granted, I'm The Mom and all, but I've seen Asa in plenty of theatre stuff before and let's just say she had a very big plate to step up to in the role of Annie and step up she did. She was so in character, every photo I have of her is full of emoting, and she just belted out the vocals like a pro. Just with the work we've been doing in the last 3 months, her voice has really improved a lot, and even notoriously stoic hubby got all teary-eyed as she sang her way through "Maybe" and "Tomorrow".
She has worked so very hard for this, and I really couldn't be prouder. The rest of the principal characters were also fantastic, it's really a very very talented group of kids and teens in this production (including the all-youth 20-piece orchestra!) Daddy Warbucks was played by a young man of 17 with incredible vocal chords and acting abilities, who we've known since he was a wee boy of 8 or so playing with Legos in the living room. At that point, Asa was an infant, so it's funny to see the two of them in these roles as Annie and Daddy Warbucks, but they really just played off of each other so well that it was a joy to watch.
Even my pup Sophie did a bang-up job, emerging through the audience and running up onto the stage, going off with the dog-catchers and then coming when Annie calls "Sandy, here boy!", which was quite amusing. Sophie's motto is "Will work for hot dogs".
The actors playing Rooster, Lilly, and Hannigan were all fantastic comic actors with great timing and body language. I could gush on all night. I was never a big fan of the Annie movie, but had not seen the stage version. It's very funny, filled with (of course) terrific songs and lots of great characters, as well as some social commentary. I wish everyone reading this could come and see, but for now you'll have to just be happy with my pics!