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“Annie” hits the stage at Heuvelton Central

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HEUVELTON — A theater classic will take center stage in Heuvelton today.

Heuvelton Central School students will perform “Annie,” a musical about a 10-year-old redheaded orphan girl, optimistic and spunky, whose only wish is to find her parents.

The 350-miles off-Broadway production features a cast with students of all ages, big musical numbers and a signature curly red wig.

“It’s pretty similar to the Broadway version,” said 10th-grader Sydney K. Sargent, 15, who plays Miss Hannigan.

“It’s cool because the Broadway show will begin their show the same time that we start ours,” Hayleigh Tormley, 12, said.

The little girl with the big voice will be played by seventh-grader Kailey M. House, 12.

“It’s stressful playing my first big role, but it’s been exciting, too,” Kailey said Friday before her first performance.

Kailey credits her success to the older students who kept her laughing and helped her along the way. Cast members range from grades five to 12.

“Some of the older ones have really helped me out,” she said. “The can be really funny and make you laugh, but they also know when to be serious.”

The show is about finding family, and ironically, that’s what the cast feels like after the last two months of preparation.

“It’s been stressful, but we’ve really come together these last few months,” Sydney, who also serves as the production’s choreographer, said. “We are like family.”

With the sets constructed by the school’s tech program and props made by several art classes, the musical is a schoolwide effort.

“We’re trying to keep our reputation of having great performances at our school,” Sydney said.

Last year’s production of Seussical was standing room only, Sydney said.

“They had to turn people away,” Hayleigh said.

“This is our second musical,” Sydney said. “We usually have done plays. While musicals might be a lot more work, they are a lot of fun.”

“Annie” is based upon the popular Harold Gray comic strip Little Orphan Annie.

The show begins at 7 p.m. tonight in the auditorium.

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