Blaine Lake’s production of Annie was a huge success with four well-attended performances from July 11 through July 14. Seating capacity exceeded 85 at each performance.
Alicia Rice of Hafford had the leading role as Annie and made her debut as an aspiring actress. Rice captivated the audience with her sparkling eyes, dazzling smile, curly colour-enhanced red hair and abundance of energy as she sung her way into the hearts of the audience.
The Prairie Players production of Annie in Blaine Lake far exceeded the expectations of the directors, cast and crew.
“We had great attendance, some people even came back twice!” commented Gillian Pearson, musical director. “Michelle and I are very proud of all of the cast and stage crew. Everyone did a fantastic job.”
The cast consisted of local talent with some of the members playing dual parts. After watching the performance on opening night, it was difficult to believe that the cast of fine actors and actresses were not in the profession.
The cast consisted of Alicia Rice as Annie; David Horton as Oliver Warbucks and Bundles; Tanys Sherstobetoff as Grace Farrell; Gillian Pearson as Miss Hannigan; Alex Timm as Rooster and dog catcher; Shelley Clouthier as Lily; Austin Sherstobetoff as Bert Healy; Shelby Williams, Denise Timm and Gloria Tessman as Boylan sisters; Shelby Williams as star-to-be; Gerry Laughren as Drake; Meejung (Joy) Jun as Mrs. Greer; Gloria Tessman as Mrs. Pugh; Cynthia Reban as Cecille; Ali Coates as Annette; Richard Rice as a police officer; Frank Johnson as the president; Christie Radics as the apple seller; Denise Timm as usherette and “Willy” Williams as Sandy the dog.
Playing the parts of the orphans were Zoie Sherstobetoff, Mulaina Boissoneau, Amelia Boissoneau, Josephine Dunning, Alex King, Abby Radics, Cabri Tanchak, Sue Kang, Emma Sutherland, Anna Sherstobetoff, Daisy Dunning, Iyana Boissoneau, Olivia Perason and Tilly Dunning.
Of course the entire production would not have been as successful without the backstage crew of Paula King as stage manager, Chrissy Sutherland and Paul Perason as stage hands, Nigel Dunning with lighting and Tracy Horton-Rice with sound. The changing of the set and props were done quickly between scenes. The expertise and professionalism of musical director Gillian Pearson and director Michelle Dunning provided a warm, fun, working atmosphere for all involved.
The vocal harmony and choreography as well as the smooth flow of the theme and acting unity were among the most evident features of the production. It truly was similar to witnessing a “big city” production. The popcorn and beverage intermission kept the audience captured in the big theatre atmosphere.
The buzz following the performances was positive and many are anticipating which play will be chosen for next year’s feature.