Annie comes to life on the Briley Auditorium stage

Annie comes to life on the Briley Auditorium stage

Pictured left to right are Rosie Cruz as Annie, Anna Carston Brown as Molly, and Ele Elden as an orphan. Photos by Wm. Reed Lovick

Lenoir Community College is bringing the Broadway musical Annie to life on the Briley Auditorium stage in the Waller Building for six shows this month Under the direction of LCC Music Instructor Jessica Cruz Annie will be held Friday and Saturday, along with Sept. 14 and Sept. 15 at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday and Sept. 16 at 3 p.m.

“It’s a Hard Knock Life” orphans pictured left to right are Dayva Sugg, Rebekah Lemon , J’Nyah Corbett and Alisa Washington.

LCC’s Dean of Arts and Sciences Timothy Maddox is the musical director and LCC English Instructor Kristi Wiley is the show’s producer. Other members of the creative team include Jane Langley Brothers - assistant producer and costumer, Erin Barker Whaley - choreographer, Ben Cruz - sound designer, Renee Herlong - wardrobe mistress, Reid Taylor - set and lighting designer, J.A. Searles - lighting engineer, LCC’s Cosmetology Department - hair and makeup designers, and Jessy Fields - makeup artist.

The LCC Foundation and The James and Rebecca Perry Foundation are title sponsors of the event.  

Ticketing information is available online at www.lenoircc.edu/annie

The story of Annie is set in the 1930s, where a feisty young orphan, Annie, lives in an orphanage run by the overbearing and cruel Miss Hannigan. Her life changes dramatically when she spends a short time at the home of wealthy industrialist, Oliver Warbucks.

It doesn’t take long for everyone, including the hard-hearted industrialist, to fall in love with the charming little girl. Warbucks decides to help Annie find her parents, but that quest puts her in danger as Miss Hannigan and her brother, Rooster, are not quite finished with the little orphan yet.

'Easy Street,' are Lincoln Manning, left, as Rooster and Suzanne Gallaher as Miss Hannigan.

The show is packed with laughter and sadness, and is a delight for all audiences. You won’t want to miss the talented cast of actors as they sing and dance their way through this musical classic.

The role of the infamous dog, Sandy, is played by none other than Brew, a local K9 favorite, whose owner is Jessica Dawson of Middlegrounds Coffeehouse.  Middlegrounds is also a proud sponsor of the show.

Rosie Cruz, a middle school student who craves adventure, plays Annie. She has been dancing since her legs were able to walk, and she loves to be on stage. She has recently played roles in Bring It On, Seussical, Jr., Evita, Mary Poppins, and Once on This Island, Jr. (NBCT).

LCC’s own North Carolina Director of the Motorcycle Safety Program, Bob Wagner, plays Oliver Warbucks. Formerly, he was a professor of theater at Barton College in Wilson for 13 years and taught college theater for 22 years. He has directed and designed more than 100 plays in his career. He played Pontius Pilate in Jesus Christ Superstar at LCC.

Pictured left to right, taking a break between scenes are Elliott Jones and Madison Warren-Cooms. 

Suzanne Gallaher is playing the role of Miss Hannigan. Originally from Huntington, W.V., she has lived in the Kinston area for 30 years. She is no stranger to community theater and has performed in Follies, Smoke on the Mountain, Jesus Christ Superstar, Music Man, and Dancing For The Arts in conjunction with the Arts Council.

She has also performed in the annual Veterans’ Salute Shows and the Grainger-Hill Performing Arts Christmas shows.

Marleigh Ferguson is playing the role of Grace Farrell. She has been in a few shows like Aida, The Wiz and Hero: The Rock Opera. As she builds her theater portfolio, she hopes to soon audition for Broadway.

Other cast members are Dayva Sugg as Kate, Lincoln Manning as Rooster, Madison Warren-Cooms as Lily, Hannah Herlong as Duffy, Anna Carston Brown as Molly, Kenna Albert as Pepper, Alexa Hudson as Tessie, Cassidy Kennedy as July, Alyssa Bayless as a Boylan Sister, Gabby Cruz as a Boylan Sister, Laura Beth Mewborn as Star To Be and a Boylan Sister, Michael Martin as Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dr. John Herlong as Bert Healy and Harold Ickes, Dr. Deborah Grimes as Frances Perkins, Elliot Jones as Mr. Bundles, Kristi Wiley as Judge Brandeis, Reid Taylor as Drake, and Daniel McLawhorn as Cordell Hull and Lt. Ward.

Renee Herlong, Wardrobe Mistress, has spent countless hours volunteering to mend and alter numerous costumes.

Elliott Jones, Courtney Kennedy, Lisa Gunn, Tracey Langston, Jessica Harris, Rachel Lemon, Rebekah Lemon, Hailey Rochelle, Suzi Shippen-Wagner, Candace Smith, Kaylee Radford, Sherida Suggs, Jazmin Tyndall, and Chase Tyndall are in the adult ensemble.

Simeon Cruz, J’Nyah Corbett, Ele Elden, Gianna Cruz, Leah Herring, Maxim Cruz, Jenabeth Joyner, Brooke Taylor, Emma Kennedy, Ivy Taylor, Kendra Loftin, Alisa Washington, Kaytie Orozco, CorMora Wells-Sherrod make up the children’s ensemble.

The orchestra includes Timothy Maddox – music direction and piano, Mark Whitfield - trombone, Ann Clarke Courtney - flute, Vincent DiNapoli - bass, Ethan Dixon - percussion, Jacob Hunter - saxophone, Kevin Day - trumpet, Dee Anna Braxton-Pellegrino - violin, Bryna Coonin - cello, and Christopher Campbell - guitar.

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