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New Berlin to hear sounds of 'Annie'

Nov. 5, 2012

New Berlin - "Annie" the musical will kick off the New Berlin West Theater Arts season, playing for two weekends, Nov. 16 to 18 and Nov. 30 to Dec. 2.

"Annie" the musical celebrates 35 years since its Broadway debut featuring music by Charles Strouse and lyrics by Martin Charnin.

The original production of "Annie" opened in 1977 and won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Musical, seven Drama Desk Awards including Best Musical and the Grammy for Best Cast Show Album. Its seven Tony Awards include Best Musical, Best Book (Thomas Meehan) and Best Score. The show was one of the biggest Broadway musical hits of the 1970s, running for almost six years.

The score for "Annie" includes "It's the Hard Knock Life," "I Don't Need Anything But You" and the eternal anthem of optimism, "Tomorrow."

General admission is $10, but tickets range from $5 to $12. The production will be presented in the Performing Arts Center at West, 18695 W. Cleveland Ave. Show times are 7 p.m. Nov. 16, 17, Dec. 1; 2 p.m. Nov. 18 and Dec. 2; and 10 a.m. Nov. 30.

"Annie" features more than 54 students in the cast, 30 in the orchestra and more than 30 student crew members.

One member of the cast is a real dog playing Sandy. The cast also includes students from seven different New Berlin schools, as elementary-aged students were encouraged to audition.

Appearing as Annie will be Meghan Schaefer. Daddy Warbucks will be portrayed by Jensen Rolli. Also appearing as Miss Hannigan will be Melissa Vanselow; as Grace Ferrell will be Annaleise Pospyhalla; as Rooster Hannigan will be Christian Kloth; as President Franklin D. Roosevelt will be Dmitry Becker; as Lily, Rooster's girlfriend, will be Selena Deer; also Elijah Krause, Molly Beacom, Emily Howell, Kenzie McKowen, Jenelle Rolli, Joy Volkmann and Shayna Watters.

The season will go on with "Dracula" to be presented Feb. 8 and 9. This new adaptation restores the suspense and seduction of Bram Stoker's classic novel to the stage. Rich with both humor and horror, the play will paint a wickedly theatrical picture of Stoker's famous vampire, artistic director Judith Smith said.

Next will be "The Foreigner," a backwoods farce, May 17 and 18. Then comes T.A.P.'s Children's Playhouse offering "The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe" from March 22 to 24.

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