‘Annie’ Takes the Stage

‘Annie’ Takes the Stage photo
The annual winter program at Woodhull Elementary School did not disappoint, as all prekindergarten to sixth-grade students came together to perform an abridged version of the 1977 Broadway musical “Annie.” 

Students had been working on the show since October under the direction of music teacher Philip Tamberino, who also performed the accompaniment. 

“They did an amazing job and I’m so proud of all of them,” Mr. Tamberino said.

Ariel Vizcarrondo starred as Annie, an orphan growing up in the 1930s with other orphans (played by prekindergarten to third-grade students) in an orphanage run by the mean-spirited Miss Hannigan (Cailee Couch). When Miss Hannigan is coaxed into releasing Annie to billionaire Oliver Warbucks for the holidays by his private secretary (Olivia Asaro-Apsley), Annie is thrilled with her new home. Mr. Warbucks (Kingston Johnson) is unsure of what to do with a child at first, but, seeing Annie’s plight and resilient character, decides to offer a reward to anyone who can prove they are her parents. 

Meanwhile, Miss Hannigan’s brother “Rooster” (Jack Brennan) and his sassy girlfriend, Lily (Jerzi Swanson), hatch a plot with Miss Hannigan to pose as Annie’s parents to reap the reward and discard Annie along the way. With the help of the FBI and President Franklin Roosevelt (Jaxson Adams), Mr. Warbucks discovers Annie’s parents have passed away and decides to adopt Annie as his own daughter. He has Rooster and Lily arrested as frauds along with Miss Hannigan and takes in the orphans to live with Annie at his mansion.

The show was marked by memorable song performances, such as the raucous “It’s a Hard Knock Life,” featuring the younger students as Annie’s fellow orphans; the brassy “Easy Street,” featuring the sixth-graders as the Hannigans and Lily; the peppy “I Think I’m Gonna Like It Here,” featuring Annie with the third-graders, Olivia Asaro-Apsley and Logan Nelson as Mr. Warbucks’ staff; the sweet duet “Together Again” with Annie and Mr. Warbucks; and the classic “Tomorrow,” first sung solo by Annie and later by the whole cast, closing out the show.