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Gulf Elementary set to stage ‘Annie Jr.’

By Staff | May 1, 2012

Gulf Elementary school will be putting on two shows of “Annie Jr.” this week, both to sold-out houses.

The productions will be Thursday, May 3, and Friday, May 4, both at 6:30 p.m., with a cast, chorus and crew of over 60 students.

“We chose to do two shows to accommodate as many parents as possible with their work schedules,” said Karen McFee, the assistant to Principal Donny Hopper.

Hopper will also have a special surprise for the audience.

It will be a fabulous production, said music teacher Karen Wills.

“The kids have been doing fantastic and are very dedicated, and we have wonderful volunteers helping us, including creating the backdrop and getting the costumes together,” she said.

The tale of the red-headed orphan is adapted for children in the junior version, based on the Broadway musical and famous comic strip Little Orphan Annie.

“Junior versions are condensed, not as long and scenes not exactly as they are for the regular play,” Wills said. “It’s appropriate for children, and you do get the whole gist of it and they enjoy it. They’re also exposed to a great Broadway production at this age.”

“Annie” won a Tony Award for best musical.

Some of the key actors include Rebekah McDaniel as Annie; Daniel Mikell as Oliver “Daddy” Warbucks; Ian Frey will protray Daniel “Rooster” Hannigan; Ambar Vasquez is Lily St. Regis. There’s even Sandy the Dog as a real life character, played by Erik Aquedo.

“We also have dual characters, splitting parts the two nights,” said Wills.

Grace Farrell will be portrayed by Zoe Ortiz on Thursday and by Emma Padgett on Friday. Miss Hannigan will be Noe Peres on Thursday and Kailyn Mikulus on Friday.”

Many of the favorite songs will be performed, including “You Won’t Be an Orphan For Long” and “Tomorrow.”

“Tomorrow” is always a favorite, she said. “My favorite is when the entire cast gets up and sings together ‘I Think I’m Gonna Like It Here’ and ‘N.Y.C.'”

“It’s been a pleasure working with the kids,” she said. “We definitely have a lot of talent here.”