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Sikeston Little Theatre to present "Annie Junior"

Monday, December 5, 2011

SIKESTON -- Featuring an all-children cast, the Sikeston Little Theatre aims to brighten the holiday season as it tells the story of a cheery orphan through four performances later this week.

The Theatre will present its children's production of "Annie Junior" with shows set for 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the Albritton-Mayer Cultural Center in Sikeston.

'"Annie Junior' is a smaller version of the original 'Annie,'" said director Elizabeth Headd of Sikeston. "We've taken sections of each of the original scenes and just made them shorter."

Set during Christmastime, "Annie Junior" tells the story of a Depression-era orphan determined to find the parents who abandoned her years ago at a New York City Orphanage. Half of the play takes place in the orphanage while the other half is set at the Warbucks' mansion, according to the director.

Also included in the play, which Headd estimated runs just over an hour, are most of the original songs from "Annie," such as "Hard-Knock Life, "Never Fully Dressed Without A Smile" and "Tomorrow."

Twenty-nine area children ranging in age from 9 to 13 make up the cast, Headd said, estimating 10 of them are new to the Little Theatre. While most of the actors are from Sikeston, some of the children are from Jackson, Oran and East Prairie.

"The kids have such a blast," said Headd, who also works as a school music teacher.

Nine-year-old Olivia Grant of Sikeston portrays Annie.

"It's going great, and it's really fun," the third grader said about the production.

Olivia, who has previously been in two other Little Theatre productions, said she enjoys participating in the production of "Annie Junior" because she gets to meet new people and dress up in costumes.

"I like getting to do my hair all red and curly," said Olivia, whose hair is really brown. "And I like having fun with all the (actors portraying the) orphans."

Rounding out the lead roles are Cameron Tyler of Jackson as Daddy Warbucks and Brylie Noe of Sikeston as Grace.

"Annie Junior" is a perfect play to present during Christmas, Headd said.

The play gives others an example of how they should always be, Headd said.

"Even though bad things happen, you should always look for brighter things around the corner," Headd said. "And who doesn't like orphan Annie?"

Tickets are available at Collins Music in Downtown Sikeston or at the door. As of Monday, limited seats for all four performances were still available at Collins Music in Downtown Sikeston, according to a store employee.

For the entire story, see the Dec. 6 Standard Democrat or click here to log on to the electronic edition.