By Jim Newell
The sun will come out tomorrow but the stars of the St. Joseph Catholic School Maverick Players will shine Friday and Saturday night when the budding thespians present ‘Annie Jr.’
Annie Jr., based on the musical Annie, is about a positive, plucky orphan in 1930s New York City determined to find the parents who abandoned her years ago on the doorstep of an orphanage run by the cruel Miss Hannigan.
Annie eventually foils Miss Hannigan’s evil machinations, finding a new home and family in billionaire Oliver Warbucks, his personal secretary, Grace Farrell, and a lovable mutt named Sandy.
Each year, the Maverick Players perform a spring musical, their biggest production of the year. Annie Jr. features the well-known songs, “Tomorrow” and “It’s a Hard-Knock Life.”
Eighth-graders Ella Abbott plays Annie and Jake Baker plays Oliver “Daddy” Warbucks.
“I’m excited because we’ve been working for a long time on making it as best as we can. We’ve been rehearsing (several) times a week,” Ella said. “I think once we go on stage it’s going to look really good.”
“It’s got a lot of fun songs and scenes,” said Jake, who has also performed in Mary Poppins Jr. and Peter Pan Jr. the previous two years. He said he’s looking forward to filling the big shoes of Oliver Warbucks. “It’s really fun. He’s got a big mansion and a lot of servants who work for him.
Miriam Lynch is the music teacher at St. Joe’s and the director of this year’s spring musical.
“Annie Jr. is the Annie story, it’s just a little shorter. Annie is the orphan that all of the other orphans kind of look up to, and she has a chance to go and live with a billionaire,” Lynch said. “We started rehearsing in February. The spring musical is our big show every year.”
Ella and Jake said there is a lot to love about Annie Jr., and are sure audiences will appreciate the hard work of the thespians once they take the stage.
“I think they’ll like the characters the best, the music too,” Ella said. “It’s a good family story. Everyone should come out and watch the show.”
“It’s a really good story about how Annie was brought to spend a week with Mr. Warbucks, but Mr. Warbucks ends up wanting to adopt Annie. But there’s other people who claim to be her parents and they have to get around that. It’s got a really good ending,” Jake said.
“They’ve been doing really well. They’re always ready to work,” Lynch said, adding people will be pleased when they see the performance.
By Jim Newell