Excitement building for CCT’s production of ‘Annie, Jr.’

Show runs April 27-30 at the Egyptian Theatre

It’s the ultimate story of income inequality, told with great music by a cast of dozens whose average age barely cracks double digits.

And later this month, you can share the eternal optimism of America’s favorite redheaded orphan, Annie, as Children’s Community Theatre debuts “Annie, Jr.”

“Annie, Jr.” runs April 27 through 30 at the Egyptian Theatre, 135 N. Second St. in DeKalb. Show times are at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is $12 for adults, $6 for children age 12 and younger, and free for children age 2 and younger. Visit egyptiantheatre.org for more information or to purchase tickets.

“Annie, Jr.” is directed by Sue Graham, with book by Thomas Meehan, music by Charles Strouse and lyrics by Martin Charnin. Music direction is by Jennifer Engles.

The cast includes more than 80 children from DeKalb, Sycamore and several other communities.

Set at Christmas in the Great Depression, Annie – played by Genoa-Kingston Middle Schooler Molly Johnson – survives the hard-knock life in a New York orphanage with dozens of other orphans. Annie’s nemesis, Miss Hannigan (Kinsley Judd of Genoa), a matron of worrisome ethics, runs the place.

Annie breaks out whenever possible to look for her parents, whom she knows she’ll meet again someday. On one memorable jailbreak, she befriends a lovable mutt, Sandy (William Akst of Sycamore).

Meanwhile, wealthy industrialist Oliver “Daddy” Warbucks (Jack Piazza of Sycamore) wants to do something nice for a kid at Christmas, so he dispatches his assistant, Grace Farrell (Kaitlyn Bowman of Sycamore), to find an orphan to spend the holidays in the lap of luxury.

Further plot twists come from grifters Rooster Hannigan (Charlie Vivirito of DeKalb) and Lily St. Regis (Kendel Graham of Somonauk) trying to make a buck off Annie and a president (Matt Slade of Ashton) trying to sell America a New Deal.

Graham is excited about how well the production is coming together.

“We’re really happy with how well our actors are learning their lines, the music and stage direction,” she said. “The kids have been working very hard for weeks, and the excitement is really building as we get closer to opening night. People who come to see ‘Annie, Jr.’ are in for a treat.”

For information on CCT, “like” the group on Facebook (CCT of DeKalb County) or visit cctonstage.com.

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