HUDSON - The Valentine Family Center at Seton Catholic School is filled with singing, dancing and a big dog this week as Seton Catholic Middle School students enter into final preparation and dress rehearsals for their upcoming performance of the musical, "Annie Jr."
The 28-member cast will perform "Annie Jr." on Friday, April 28 and Saturday, April 29 at 7 p.m. The excitement is contagious as music teacher Mrs. Jennifer Morris works with her team of teachers on songs, lines, costumes, props, microphones and set changes with the sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-grade cast and crew. Cast members come from Hudson, Kent, Macedonia, Northfield, Richfield, Stow, Streetsboro, Aurora and Twinsburg.
"Annie Jr." is a shortened version of the full run theatrical show. The setting in Act One is 1933 New York City, where Annie, the orphans, and the Warbucks mansion take center stage. Act Two opens to the radio station where Sean McMullin and Chris Yankay remind us "You're Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile."
Samantha Kolencik stars as Annie; Moira Smith is playing Molly; Daddy Warbucks is played by Michael Martin; Sarah London is Miss Hannigan and Katie Chenelle is Grace Farrell, Warbucks' faithful secretary who loves Annie from the start. The villains, Rooster and Lily St. Regis, are played by Aaron Bielecki and Elena Plaspohl. Many students play multiple parts - up to six different roles in the musical.
Morris, director of the show, decided on "Annie Jr." because she wanted to do a classic musical.
"There are so many wonderful life lessons in this show," Morris said. "There are familiar songs which became anthems in my own life. 'The Sun'll Come Out Tomorrow' teaches us that no matter how hard today is, tomorrow is a fresh new day. 'You're Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile' reminds us that it doesn't cost a thing to pass on happiness to one another. Our Seton middle school students really get it and express the meaning and message in their performance. This musical is one way they can share their talents and gifts with the greater community."
The community is invited to the musical performance of "Annie Jr." on April 28 and 29 in The Valentine Family Center on the Seton Catholic School campus, 6923 Stow Road in Hudson.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. General admission tickets are $5 and can be purchased at the door. All proceeds benefit the Seton Catholic Fine Arts Program.