For an orphan in 1930s Brooklyn it’s definitely a hard-knock life. Add in red hair and things are not getting better for little Annie. Vanderhoof Children’s Theatre is presenting Annie and they’re taking the show on the road to start.
For two days Nov. 28 and 29, they will be in Prince George for a couple of shows before returning to the small auditorium at Nechako Valley Secondary for shows Dec. 6 to 8 and Dec. 13 to 15.
Director Richard Wruth says Annie hasn’t been done in Vanderhoof for quite some time but fits well for the group.
“It’s a classic, it’s a great Christmas play,” he says, “and it has a big cast for girls which we have a lot of.” He definitely has a lot of girls in the cast and a lot of actors in total.
“We’ve got a cast of 52 and seven crew. When we go to Prince George, we’ll have about 70 or 80 people because there’s a fair bit of sets to move,” he said, gesturing at a large wooden bunk bed on the rehearsal stage.
“We’ve got five of those that have to go with us, so it’s a bit of work.”
Annie, the musical, is taken from Harold Gray’s comic strip Little Orphan Annie about an 11-year-old orphan girl living in New York City. After one too many 4 a.m. cleanings of the floor, she decides to escape. Add in a dog named Sandy, a millionaire named Daddy Warbucks, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and assorted other characters and you have a treat for the whole family.
Wruth says his only real problem in casting the play was too many people and not enough roles.
“I had three girls who all wanted to be Annie. I compromised [by casting] two. One of the nice things is if you have extra people trying out, you just have more orphans.”