Energetic Cast Powers Annie

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The Middle School launched their production of Annie on Thursday night and we have three reflections on the play supplied by actors from last week’s Senior School production of The Secret Garden. You can browse and download many more pictures in the SMUS photo gallery.

by Kali Salmas, Grade 12 boarder

WARNING: This show may cause endless laughter and inspire warm fuzzy feelings within your heart.

Walking into the theatre to watch the Middle School’s production of Annie offered up feelings of nostalgia, having finished The Secret Garden last week. It was a completely different experience being a spectator, and I loved every minute of it. The orchestra involved a number of friends of the school amongst students, and they were amazing: it sounded almost as though a professional recording was being used in place of the live band! The sheer size of the cast was yet another impressive aspect of the show – it seemed that there were always chorus members coming on and off the stage and marching through the aisle. It was clear that countless hours were put into rehearsing this show, and everyone was engaged and stayed in character through its entirety, supplying the show with energy. Annie and the other leads were incredibly well cast, and I was enthralled by the story they painted.

Despite knowing the story of Annie, I nevertheless found myself getting caught up in the suspense, largely due to the amazing job of the actors – both the leads and the chorus members. Overall, I loved the performance and adored the orphans and their many shenanigans in particular. This is definitely a show I recommend seeing, especially due to the Middle School only doing musicals every other year, meaning it will be two years before audiences have the opportunity to see many of these kids act onstage again. However, I do warn you: you will walk away singing the very catchy songs, and will likely continue singing them for the rest of the night while laughing at the many jokes and feeling uplifted by the story.

by Kyus Hicks, Grade 10 boarder
When I was in The Secret Garden last week, I truly began to appreciate how frustrating and overwhelming a musical can be. That was with a cast of about thirty, most of them in Grade 11 or 12. So when a cast well over four times that size, comprised of Middle school students, is jammed into the same working space, the same stage, and expected to perform to the same standard, it seems like a recipe for disaster.

And it well and truly wasn’t.

I am jealous of the smoothness of the singing, the characterization of the colorful cast, the choreography, and essentially everything these younger men and women were able to portray. I wish them many more wondrous shows, amazing futures in the dramatic arts, and I hope they’re getting their mileage out of Roosevelt’s wheelchair. I’m sure that Jasper misses it.

by Martha Cohn, Grade 10 boarder
The Middle School musical, Annie, was very well done, and definitely worth going to see! Every second year, almost the entire Middle School population comes together to work on a musical. When I was in Grade 8, we performed Oliver! and it remains one of my favorite memories from SMUS. Because of this, I understand firsthand the effort and preparation in the Middle School for this particular musical, and I can only imagine how many Exploratory classes, after school rehearsals and hours of dedication this show must have taken. The show itself is a classic, and this year’s cast did it justice! Annie was charming, Ms. Hanningan was wonderfully nasty, Mr. Warbucks was exceptional, and Grace was absolutely lovely. I really admire the students for their obvious enthusiasm that really came out during group numbers! It sounded great, and I recommend going and seeing it this weekend!

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