By Jesse Bertel

The sun will come out when the beloved classic “Annie the Musical” takes center stage at the Elks Theatre, 117 E. Gurley St., Prescott, with four performances starting at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 7, promising a delightful experience for theater enthusiasts of all ages.

Presented by One Stage Family Theatre, this production boasts a diverse cast of more than 60 performers, showcasing their talents in acting, singing and dance, choreographed by Lexe Niekamp and Nolan Weidling. Audiences can anticipate being captivated by the charm and energy brought forth by this talented ensemble.

Inspired by the renowned comic strip created by Harold Gray and adapted into a Broadway play and three feature films, “Annie” has garnered worldwide acclaim, earning seven Tony Awards, including the prestigious Best Musical accolade.

“We are performing the original Broadway version,” Director Shana Lujan said. “It takes place during the Great Depression, and we have President Roosevelt in office and they’re discussing the New Deal. There is the original song that we perform, it talks about Hooverville, and that’s when the shanties were being built and then torn down.”

The enduring appeal of the show is attributed to its heartwarming story and unforgettable music, composed by Tony Award winners Thomas Meehan, Charles Strouse and Martin Charnin, featuring timeless classics such as “Tomorrow.”

“The story is relatable in that, you know, everybody wants a family and a connection,” Lujan said. “Almost all the songs people are familiar with are in it. It’s the ‘Hard-Knock Life,’ ‘Easy Street,’ ‘You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile,’ all those are in there.”

Set against the backdrop of 1930s New York City, “Annie” follows the indomitable spirit of its titular character, a plucky orphan determined to find her long-lost parents. Despite facing adversity under the care of the cantankerous Miss Hannigan, Annie’s optimism remains unshaken as she embarks on a journey that leads her to unexpected friendships and newfound familial bonds, including an encounter with President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

“The optimism, kind of like a Pollyanna type outlook that there’s always something good to look for, I think is something that people want to hear no matter what generation they’re in,” Lujan said.

The part of Annie will be performed by 9-year-old Savannah Adams.

“She has been almost practicing for this role since she was born,” Lujan said. “She is phenomenal. She’s kind of the triple threat. She can act, she can dance, she can sing, and this is her passion. She absolutely loves theater.”

One of the highlights of the performance is the tap-dancing number by Annie and Daddy Warbucks, played by Aaron Rosberg.

Performance dates for “Annie the Musical” at the Elks Theatre are as follows:

  • 7 p.m. Thursday, March 7;
  • 7 p.m. Friday, March 8; and,
  • 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, March 9.

For more information, call 928-777-1370, or visit www.prescottelkstheatre.org.

Jesse Bertel is a reporter/videographer for the Prescott News Network. Follow him on Facebook @ JesseBertel, email him at jbertel@prescottaz.com, or call 928-445-3333, ext. 2043.

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