The Comic Strip Heroine Takes Center Stage in One of the World's Best-Loved, Award-Winning Musicals

  • Musical practice group shotIsabel Florence Conroy

    Musical practice group shotIsabel Florence Conroy

Updated 2/7/2023 10:28 AM

(Lake Zurich, IL) - "You're never fully dressed without a smile" - and everyone that comes to see Seth Paine Elementary schools telling of Annie JR. will be leaving with that smile.

Seth Paine Elementary does a fantastic job with their professional-like musicals each year - and, this year will be no different as 4th and 5th grade students take the stage and star in Annie JR.


The show will be on February 17th, and 18th, at 7pm, at the Lake Zurich High School's performing arts center. Tickets go on sales February 6th (

Annie is a story of a spunky, red-headed orphan who lands a holiday stay with Oliver "Daddy" Warbucks, a billionaire trying to do a good dead. This delightful musical has become a worldwide phenomenon, based on the popular comic strip and adapted from the Tony Award-winning Best Musical, with a beloved book and score by Tony Award winner, Thomas Meehan, Charles Strouse, and Martin Charnin, Annie JR. features everyone's favorite little redhead in her very first adventure.

Starring as the lead character, Annie, is Awna Kerr. Her along with many of her classmates turn this musical into a true story of hardship and good triumphing over bad. With equal measures of spunk and positivity, little orphan Annie charms everyone's hearts despite a next-to-nothing start in 1930s New York City.

The story starts out in the Orphanage where the cruel Miss Hannigan (Insiyah Kagalwala) gives the orphans a run for their money (played by Cate Charpentier, Emma Coup, Keatley Waldron, Karolina Zelenetska, Kalinda Patel, Elyse Unzueta), all while Annie is determined to find the parents who abandoned her years ago on the doorstep of the orphanage.

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This leads to Annie trying to get away from it all on the streets of New York City, where she encounters a lovable mutt named "Sandy' (Arianna Brinkley), and must avoid many other characters to not get caught and in trouble, including the Apple Seller (Olivia Edidin), Dogcatcher (Cadence Osborne), and Police Officers (Jason Navarro-Jones, and Shane Florence).

Annie and Sandy eventually end up safe at the Warbucks mansion, where Grace Farrell (Victoria Reagan) helps her and she develops an unlikely friendship with Oliver Warbucks (Colin Flynn) during her stay there.

However, Miss Hannigan along with Rooster (Rowan Voss) and Lily (Ffion Johnson-Skinner) have a scheme up their sleeves.

Bert Healy, the announcer (Sullivan Chamberlain), provides a wonderful dialog to the story and adds flare to the scenes along with Ximena Navarro who provides many of the sound effects for the musical.

Also, starring in the musical are, President Franklin D. Roosevelt (Massy Melbou), Louis Howe (Dylan Nissen), Chauffeur (Luke Dekker), Drake (Mason Wald), Cecille (Caitlin McBride), Annette (Reagan Kirk), Mrs. Greer (Taylor Guthrie), Mrs. Pugh (Julia Morawa), Female Servants (Haddie Brown, Hailia Kim, Alexia Pocius, Saachi Sheware), Manservants (Landon Hartke, Jake Tonzi), Star-to-be (Kendra Alvarado), Usherette (Savannah Zdanowicz), New York Ensemble (Ainsley Burt, Emmalyn Dickert, Ella Edwards, Evelyn Hassler, Molly Johnson, Lukas Politzki, Markus Politzki), Mr. Bundles (Kellen Grueb), and Orphan Ensemble (Domenica Carranza, Julia Jedrejek, Maggie MacKay, Annabel Munson, Millie O'Leary, Autumn Pearson, Alya Schafer).

The cast will perform many of favorite songs, such as "It's a Hard Knock Life', "Tomorrow', "N.Y.C', and "You're Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile'.

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