Mecca Productions’ holiday production is bringing back an old favourite for three days starting tonight at the Western Manitoba Centennial Auditorium.
From Nov. 28 through Nov. 30, approximately 50 cast members are bringing "Annie" to life.
Lisa Vasconcelos, the owner and artistic director at Mecca, said the musical is a good choice for their holiday productions because the themes match up with the season.
"And also it features a pretty large ensemble of talented young girls," she said. "Which we happen to have at Mecca Productions in our classes, so I really wanted to pick something that would feature their talents."
Vasconcelos told the Sun that preparations for the productions have been going on since the summer, to allow for lots of time for rehearsals and set and costume making.
Two of the performers, John Szabo as Warbucks and Wanda Nicol as Grace, are lending their veteran expertise to the productions, reprising their roles from another production of the musical nine years ago.
Some roles have been double-cast, so audience members might be able to see different performances if they were to see the musical more than once.
Annie herself is played by two different actresses over the four performances: Annika Laluk and Quincy Thomas. Another character, Lily, is being portrayed by Rebecca Pourteous and Hannah Price, while Miss Hannigan is being shared by Sherri Thom and Ramey Praznik.
The hero’s fellow orphans at the orphanage are also being portrayed by two actors each.
In addition, Rooster is played by Poul Jensen, Joe Lisa plays Drake, Sharon Brown plays Mrs. Pugh, Mrs. Greer is being portrayed by Jennifer Shelton, Annette by Tiana Vasconcelos and SJ Maynard is Cecile.
There are many more characters in the play — too many to list in this article but all important to the show.
The classic musical was first performed on Broadway in 1977 and is based on the classic comic strip "Little Orphan Annie" created by Harold Gray in 1924.
Brandonites might remember the musical from previous productions put on by Mecca or from the two movie adaptations, including the recent 2014 remake.
Some of the songs, notably "Tomorrow" and "Hard Knock Life" have made an impact on pop culture, frequently being referenced and parodied.
In a nutshell, the story is about Annie, an orphan living in an orphanage run by a tyrannical matron who makes the orphans perform hard labour.
After running away from the orphanage to find her parents, billionaire Oliver Warbucks is intrigued by her plight and decides to help Annie fulfil her dream while nefarious people scheme to reclaim her and take Warbucks’ money.
The next shows on Mecca’s slate are a reprise of "Monty Python’s Spamalot" and a kids-only performance of "Frozen." Those shows are being put on in March and April respectively and auditions will begin next month.
There will be four performances of "Annie," with 7:30 p.m. shows on Thursday, Friday and Saturday with an additional 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday.
Tickets are $31.50 for adults, $28.50 for seniors, $23.50 for students and $20.50 for children 12 and under. People who go to the Thursday-night performance will get $5 off each ticket.
Patrons can buy tickets at the door or in advance from the WMCA’s website.
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