Meet Adam Rousar performing in Annie

Lyric Arts had a chance to interview Adam Rousar, who is performing as Rooster Hannigan in Annie. Read on to hear what he has to say about his experience thus far.

LA: Tell us a little bit about why this particular play interested you?

AR: I love the message of the show.  It is a wonderful story.  I also have little cousins that love the movie so I wanted to do a show that they could come and see me in.

LA: For those that are unfamiliar with Annie can you tell us about the show?

AR: It is a story about an orphan that is looking for a place to call home.  She is looking for a family in the crazy city of NYC.  Beware: You will be singing the music for the next three days!

LA: Talk about the character v(s) that you play in Annie. How have you developed this character?

AR: I play Rooster Hannigan.  I have developed this character with the help of our director and my scenemates.  I started thinking of why Rooster would do and say the things he does.  It really helped it be Rooster on stage rather than Adam acting as Rooster.

LA: Why should people come and see Annie?

AR: Because of the Orphans!  They are the most talented young ladies I have ever had the pleasure of working with!

LA: Talk about your fellow cast members, how do you see their characters developing? Any that you are particularly amazed at?

AR: Well as I mentioned earlier.  The orphans are absolutely astounding.  They are so talented.  Also Warbucks is very talented.  He has a very intimidating start and then slowly softens as the show goes on.  Watching him portray this on stage is really fascinating. He does it with such grace and talent.

LA: What do you feel are the "wow" elements of Annie? 

AR: In this production in particular I feel that the orphans are the “wow” factor.  They bring the production from good to GREAT!

LA: What is your favorite aspect of the show?

AR: My favorite aspect is the story.  It is such a heartwarming story that will do nothing but put a big smile on your face.

LA: Tell us what is something that you are particular excited about this show coming to together? For example, a certain scene, costumes, set, lights, etc? I am excited for the cast dynamic. 

AR: They are all fun people and it is fun to watch how the dynamic changes from week to week.     

LA: What is your favorite musical to watch? 

AR: My favorite musical to watch, without the risk of being too cliché, would be Les Miserables or Singin’ In The Rain.  I’m a tapper so I love some good tap dancing.

LA: What is your favorite thing to do around the holidays?

AR:My favorite thing is spending time with my family. 

LA: Which do you like better Annie the movie or the stage version?

AR: I hadn’t seen the movie until I got cast in the stage version.  I would have to say that the stage version is better.  There is nothing better than going to see a production.

LA: Where and how will you have the energy to do 24 shows?

AR: I’m young and get excited for every show.  If I am ever lacking in energy I’ll go and hang out with the orphans and steal some of theirs.

LA: To date what is your favorite role that you have played and why?

AR: To date My favorite role was Roy Manual in Nice People Dancing to Good Country Music.  It was my first straight play and challenged me a lot but the show was hilarious.  It was so fun!

LA: What is your dream character to play on stage?

AR: My dream characters to play would be Shrek in Shrek the Musical and Don Lockwood in Singin’ In The Rain.

LA: Please tell us a little bit about yourself?

AR: I am a recent graduate of the University of Minnesota.  I love to be on stage and entertain people. I have been dancing my whole life and started doing theatre after I graduated high school when a friend of mine told a director that I would do a show without my knowledge and drug me too rehearsal and I feel in love.

LA: Any other area that you would like to comment on?

AR: This cast is crazy talented! They are wonderful people to work with!

Meet Sally Kimmes who is performing in Annie

Lyric Arts had a chance to interview SALLY KIMMES, who is performing as FRANCIS PERKINS in Annie. Read on to hear what she has to say about her experience thus far. LA: Tell us a little bit about why this particular play interested you?

SK: My daughter played Miss Hannigan in middle school and I was hoping to follow in her footsteps! I enjoy playing “evil” or “naughty” characters since I am always so nice and cheerful in real life!

LA: For those that are unfamiliar with Annie can you tell us about the show?

SK:Annie is about an optimistic little orphan girl who is determined to find her mother and father. She wins the lottery, so to speak, when she is chosen to spend two weeks at Christmas in the home of wealthy industrialist Oliver Warbucks. But she gives more than she receives when she opens his heart to notice the simple joys in life.

LA: Talk about the character v(s) that you play in Annie. How have you developed this character?

SK:I get to portray the historical figure Frances Perkins, first female member of the Cabinet under F.D.R. She was the Secretary of Labor and is responsible for establishing social security. She is an amazing woman to study! I keep finding out new things to inform my character such as she studied economics and sociology and earned a master’s degree – a big deal for a woman in the early 1900’s!

I also play a dog catcher, homeless person, and servant at the Warbucks’ mansion. I develop these a little more each time I interact with the rest of the ensemble members. I am a compassionate person by nature, so I can often feel how others are feeling, which is extremely helpful on-stage! I can authentically react and respond to my fellow actors!

LA: Why should people come and see Annie?

SK:It is going to be a stellar show! You won’t believe you are sitting in small town Anoka. The talent in this show is simply amazing! The characters are all so genuine in their own ways. And couldn’t we all use a little of Annie’s optimism in our world these days???

LA: Talk about your fellow cast members, how do you see their characters developing? Any that you are particularly amazed at?

SK:I love watching all the different groups interact on stage! Hannigan, Rooster and Lily are hysterical! The orphans are magical! Annie, Warbucks and Grace – what fun to see them become a loving family as the show progresses. I play numerous roles with my fellow chorus members and when I look into their faces and interact with them – there is such intensity!

LA: What do you feel are the "wow" elements of Annie?

SK:The big numbers and the quiet moments and the juxtaposition of the two.

LA: What is your favorite aspect of the show?

SK:The optimism that Annie brings to everyone she encounters. I hope it will spill over into peoples’ everyday lives, as it has into mine!

LA: Tell us what is something that you are particularly excited about this show coming together? For example, a certain scene, costumes, set, lights, etc?

SK:I am excited to see my feet do exactly what the choreographer has requested and not whatever they feel like doing!!!!

LA: What is your favorite musical to watch? 

SK:Billy Elliot - I saw it in NYC twice in one year!

LA: What is your favorite thing to do around the holidays?

SK:Bake cookies! My grandma's sugar cookie recipe is the best!

LA: Which do you like better Annie the movie or the stage version?

SK:I love Carole Burnett in the movie, but I must say I like the stage version better.

LA: Where and how will you have the energy to do 24 shows?

SK:With such an amazing cast, no two shows will ever be the same – we will change and evolve and deepen every night. There will always be a sense of anticipation – what is going to happen tonight?! That is what I love most about live theater!

LA: To date what is your favorite role that you have played and why?

SK:I would have to say Fiona in Brigadoon about a million years ago back in high school. It was the most complex character I have played. I would like to play that character again now that I am….wiser.

LA: What is your dream character to play on stage?

SK:Well, Elphaba, of course! I would love to play Billy Elliot’s grandma (her solo kills me every time)! And I am intrigued by Diana Goodman in Next to Normal.

LA: Please tell us a little bit about yourself?

SK:I am a school librarian in a preschool – 3rd grade building. I am John’s wife and Dariya’s mother. My daughter is running the light board for the show! I am a horrible housekeeper but an amazing baker…do those balance each other out? I am obsessed with knitting beautiful things!

 

Meet Brayli Carmichael performing in Annie

Lyric Arts had a chance to interview BRAYLI CARMICHAEL, who is performing as MOLLY in Annie. Read on to hear what she has to say about her experience thus far.

LA: Tell us a little bit about why this particular play interested you? 

MC: Ever since I was a little girl and watched my sister play Annie in her middle school play, I’ve been hooked! I would help her rehearse by playing Molly. After that I must have watched the movie hundreds of times, always playing the little sweet but spunky Molly! Molly has always been my dream role!

LA: For those that are unfamiliar with Annie can you tell us about the show?

MC: It’s about a little girl who dreams of finding her parents and the love of a family. It proves that we should never give up on our dreams even if they don’t always turn out the way we think they should.

LA: Talk about the character v(s) that you play in Annie. How have you developed this character?

MC:I really am going to try to prove to the audience that even though Molly is the youngest and the “baby” or the group, she’s really strong in lots of ways!

LA: Why should people come and see Annie?

MC:Because it’s a wonderful heartwarming show and well cause the orphans ROCK!   You should see it because the whole cast is amazing and we think you’re going to LOVE the show!

LA: Talk about your fellow cast members, how do you see their characters developing? Any that you are particularly amazed at?

MC: Well EVERYONE is amazing but I’ve had the privilege to work with Caroline, who plays Ms. Hannigan (when we were in Pinkalicious together. I think it’s so cool to see her so mean and yelling at us (SO effectively) but then when we step off stage we get the usual kisses and hugs! I’d say that’s the sign of a great actress! You can’t go wrong with this cast They are so much fun !

LA: What do you feel are the "wow" elements of Annie?

MC: The dance numbers and the songs. Who doesn’t love these songs!! Plus we really have become a family and that’s my biggest joy and wow factor!

LA: What is your favorite aspect of the show?

MC: The friendship and bonding that occurs along the way. Whether we are setting up a scene or acting it out, you know you’re doing it with people you like and care about and I really think that comes across when you’re doing a show!

LA: Tell us what is something that you are particular excited about this show coming to together? For example, a certain scene, costumes, set, lights, etc?

MC:I love the costumes and performing “It’s a hard Knock Life!” J  I get to mimic Ms. Hannigan!! Doesn’t get any better than that!

LA: What is your favorite musical to watch? 

MC: Annie. I’m not just saying that either! It always has been!

LA: What is your favorite thing to do around the holidays?

MC:I love to decorate our tree and find the “Charlotte” spider (from Charlotte’s web) we all race to find. I also like resting from school and opening presents with my family!

LA: Which do you like better Annie the movie or the stage version?

MC:I honestly can’t pick one! They are both equally amazing!!! Ours ROCKS though! So come see it!

LA: Where and how will you have the energy to do 24 shows?

MC: SUGAR!!! LOTS OF SUGAR! If my mom’s not backstage. otherwise I’m gonna have to figure that out!

LA: To date what is your favorite role that you have played and why?

MC:Molly because this was a dream but I also enjoyed being Thumbelina, and a big pink cupcake in Pinkalicious!

LA: What is your dream character to play on stage?

MC:I would love to play Justin Beiber’s girlfriend someday!  On or off stage (giggles) OR any part that Becky, Laura, and Kris have something to do with cause I just LOVE them!

LA: Please tell us a little bit about yourself?

MC: My name is Brayli and I am in 4th grade. I love acting, singing, reading and playing with my friends! Making new ones too! Someday I hope to go to Paris, my favorite place in the world!

LA: Any other area that you would like to comment on?

MC:I just want to say that you should really come and see the show. It’s not just for kids, everyone will like it! I was to thank Becky and the crew and staff for making this so much fun for me. !!! So please come and see our play but come prepared… remember… “You’re never fully dressed without a smile!”

Meet Rick Gabriel who is performing in Annie

Lyric Arts had a chance to interview Rick Gabriel, who is performing as Harold Ickes in Annie. Read on to hear what he has to say about his experience thus far.

LA: Tell us a little bit about why this particular play interested you?

RG: I hadn’t seen the play or movie till my granddaughters watched the movie (the newer version).  Then after seeing it 50 times (low estimate), I realized it would be a fun show to be in. 

LA: For those that are unfamiliar with Annie can you tell us about the show?

RG: Orphan finds dog, finds a home, finds a family, energizes everyone.

LA: Talk about the character v(s) that you play in Annie. How have you developed this character?

RG: I play four characters in the show:  Police officer Lt. Ward, homeless person in Hoovervile, Santa Claus, and Harold Ickes, a cabinet member for FDR.

LA:Why should people come and see Annie?

RG: As a show, it is filled with optimism which seems to grow during the holiday season.  You can’t but smile coming out of the theater after seeing this show.

LA:Talk about your fellow cast members, how do you see their characters developing? Any that you are particularly amazed at?

RG: First, the orphans are amazing!  This group of young ladies is as professional as any group I have worked with in my 44 years in theatre.  They inspire the rest of the ensemble to work harder.  The rest of the cast bring talent, energy, and characters to life.  Oh, Hudy the dog is a great Sandy as well.

LA:What do you feel are the "wow" elements of Annie?

RG: The pace, timing, acting, choreography, singing,  …..oh wait.  That’s the whole show.

LA:What is your favorite aspect of the show?

RG: The professional attitude of the cast, crew, and staff of Lyric Arts.

LA:What is your favorite musical to watch? 

RG: I love Wicked.

LA:What is your favorite thing to do around the holidays?

RG: Be with family, and friends while watching some of the old Christmas movies.

LA: Which do you like better Annie the movie or the stage version?

RG: The stage version has many more songs, with a different focus – optimism in all that Annie touches.  The movie is a story about relationships.  I prefer the stage version.

LA: Where and how will you have the energy to do 24 shows?

RG: The audience gives you the energy to do 24 shows.  Every show is different because of the audience and that is exciting.

LA: To date what is your favorite role that you have played and why?

RG: Pilate in Jesus Christ Superstar.  He is a real person who had an affect on history.

LA: What is your dream character to play on stage?

RG: Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof, or  Pseudolus in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.

LA: Please tell us a little bit about yourself?

RG: I am from Motown (Detroit) and have taught school for 38 years.  Skiing, sailing, golf are my hobbies I share with my wonderful wife Karen.  Theatre has been in my life since singing in Oklahoma in 1963. 

Meet Anna Lakin who is performing in Annie

Lyric Arts had a chance to interview Anna Lakin, who is performing as Grace in Annie. Read on to hear what she has to say about her experience thus far. LA: Tell us a little bit about why this particular play interested you?

AL: Annie is a piece of Americana.  We all know how it ends, but we delight in the story, delight in rooting for Annie and how her character uplifts us.  Also, I love how there are many strong women characters who play an active role in their own destiny.  They do not need rescuing.  In fact, the heroine of the show shapes the destiny of the two most powerful men in the country.

LA: For those that are unfamiliar with Annie can you tell us about the show?

AL: Annie is about a little girl with nothing and nobody to care for her whose optimism and drive help her realize her dreams, and inspire hope in a nation down on its luck.

LA: Talk about the character v(s) that you play in Annie. How have you developed this character? 

AL:I have developed the character of Grace, as I do any character I play, first and foremost from the text.  Every word she says is an insight into how she views herself, which is more than just an efficient secretary to a billionaire tycoon.  Grace is an unmarried, professional career woman, which was rare at the time.  She knows her value and is not afraid to assert herself when dealing with strong personalities.  She falls in love with Warbucks, but does not lose any of herself in the process, which is a delicate balance to achieve.  She is ever graceful (her character name is definitely not a coincidence) in her interactions with others and does not pre-judge.  She falls in love with Annie for the same reasons we all do, but also because she sees in Annie a kindred spirit.

LA: Why should people come and see Annie?

AL: Well, the reason I go to the theatre is because I love a good story, and if done right, theatre is the most magical and intimate method of storytelling.  The cast and directors of this production understand this and the quality of the show reflects it.  The story of Annie is also perfect for the season.

LA: Talk about your fellow cast members, how do you see their characters developing? Any that you are particularly amazed at? 

AL: I think that character development can tend to get put on the back burner in a musical which is a shame. Not so in this case.  Becky has made table work for character development a priority for the entire cast; the entire cast has taken it seriously and it shows.  As a result, the Principal roles do not fall into the stock character trap, and each character of the ensemble has a reason and purpose.

LA: What do you feel are the "wow" elements of Annie?  

AL: The magic moments for me are the most human:  When the orphans surrender to wistfulness and a moment of hope while Annie sings “Maybe” to Molly,  how Miss Hannigan always knows just the way to put a damper on the moment, the vulnerability in Warbucks as he tries to explain to Annie how she has made him realize what’s important in life, the delightful delusional wickedness of Rooster and Lily and the satisfaction of them getting their comeuppance, and Roosevelt and The Cabinet singing Tomorrow with Annie.

LA: What is your favorite aspect of the show?

AL: I love that I get to dance and that Jeff and the real dancers in the show are patient with me!

LA: Tell us what is something that you are particular excited about this show coming to together? For example, a certain scene, costumes, set, lights, etc?

AL: I am excited how the big ensemble numbers are really coming together.

LA: What is your favorite musical to watch?

AL: Into The Woods, but after February it might be The Book of Mormon.

LA: What is your favorite thing to do around the holidays?

AL: My husband is from England so we usually spend Christmas there.  I love that Christmastime in England is not just a day or two, but really a festive season where family and friends relax, visit at each other’s homes and at the pub and celebrate.  So I will unabashedly admit that there is no place quite like The Quarry Bank in Timperley on Christmas Eve.

LA: Which do you like better Annie the movie or the stage version?

AL: Mmm… it’s a tossup.  I will take a play over a film any day, but Albert Finney and Carol Burnett are just irresistible in the film.

LA: Where and how will you have the energy to do 24 shows?

AL: It’s not difficult to find the energy to do something you love.

LA: To date what is your favorite role that you have played and why?

AL: Johanna in Sweeney Todd.  Sondheim is brilliant, and I like that she’s a quirky ingénue in a dark and macabre play.  Green Finch and Linnet Bird is a terrific song.

LA: What is your dream character to play on stage?

AL:Lady Macbeth of course, or Rosalind.

LA: Please tell us a little bit about yourself?

AL:I am a Speech Language Pathologist, I lived in Dublin for 3 years, I have the most terrific husband, son, family and friends, I run and do yoga, I love playing golf but I am not so good at it, and Annie is my first show since my son was born.

Review: Bet your Bottom Dollar – Annie is a Delight!

Bet your Bottom Dollar – Annie is a Delight!

By Jennifer Rogers

Aw gee! Do you really want to go see a musical production that’s repeatedly made its way around stages throughout the country for the past 35 years?

With the frantic holidays unfolding and post-election drama lingering, Lyric Arts 35th Anniversary production of Annie is just the light-hearted shot of optimism we could all use to boost our spirits and lift our hearts.

Set in 1933 during the heart of the Great Depression, the beloved rags-to-riches tale follows eleven-year-old Annie from her everyday life at the New York City Municipal Orphanage to an exciting new world at the Warbucks Mansion on Park Avenue. Annie and billionaire Oliver Warbucks become fast friends as they embark on a thrilling adventure to find Annie’s birth parents.

As the heartwarming tale unfolds, Director Rebecca Rizzio’s own feelings of optimism and hope, as well as a genuine love for the story, shine through. Rizzio and the artistic staff of Annie left no stone unturned. Staying true to the original story, the costumes and set design are appropriately modest, yet effective, allowing the audience to focus on the character-driven heart of the story. Annie’s musical numbers, “It’s the Hard Knock Life,” “Maybe,” and “Tomorrow” are just a few of the timeless pieces that work well to reinforce the show’s messages of eternal optimism and human resilience.

Lyric’s casting of Annie is spot on. Caroline Kaiser, as Miss Hannigan, and Adam Rousar, as Hannigan’s brother Rooster, lend solid support and bring just the right doses of comedic villainy without going over the top. Nine-year-old Brayli Carmichael’s innocent portrayal of youngest orphan Molly will melt your heart. And we can’t forget about Annie. Regan Duffy earns top kudos for her feisty, yet poignant, portrayal of the spunky red-headed heroine.

Lyric Arts’ 35th Anniversary production of Annie is delightful and charming. And it successfully delivers just the kind of positive mindset that underscores the original story’s overarching theme—if life hands you lemons, make lemonade!

Even though most of us know how the story ends, you can bet your bottom dollar that after attending the Lyric Arts production, you will leave Annie with a spring in your step and a smile in your heart.

A Little Bit about Jennifer: Jennifer Rogers holds a B.A. in Writing and has recently been published in Minnesota Parent magazine. In her spare time, Jennifer is working on a young adult fiction novel. She also enjoys spending time with her family, participating in the variety of outdoor adventures that accompany the diverse seasons of Minnesota.

Meet Regan Duffy who is performing as Annie in Annie

Lyric Arts had a chance to interview Regan Duffy, who is performing as Annie in Annie. Read on to hear what she has to say about her experience thus far.

LA: Tell us a little bit about why this particular play interested you?

RD: Annie interested me because it is such a fun show with amazing music!  I had done Annie another time as the orphan, Kate, and it was just such a fun experience that I wanted to do it again!

LA:For those that are unfamiliar with Annie can you tell us about the show?

RD: Annie is a fun and spectacular show filled with humor, love and music.  The show is just so great and fun to watch for all ages.

LA:Talk about the character v(s) that you play in Annie. How have you developed this character?

RD: Annie is an orphan filled with optimism and hope.  She is always cheering things up with a song and is always making people smile, except for Miss Hannigan, of course.  I have developed Annie by really listening to what she sings and says and finding the true passion in that.  I just think that Annie is more than a great voice and curly, red hair.  She really does have a special touch for everything.

LA: Why should people come and see Annie?

RD: Annie has a real WOW factor to it, filled with brilliantly written music, great choreography and fantastic actors!  There are some awesome singers in the cast and the dancing is really great too.  The orphans bring a joy to the show that no one else can bring.  Everyone should come see it.

LA: Talk about your fellow cast members, how do you see their characters developing? Any that you are particularly amazed at?

RD: Everyone portrays their characters so well with great originality.  The orphans have made up back stories which is always fun and I can see their characters coming to life.  Adam Rousar, as Rooster, is hilarious!  In the scenes when he is in the mansion,  Annie is supposed to be scared.  Instead, I have a hard time not laughing.  He is too funny!

LA: What do you feel are the "wow" elements of Annie?

RD: I think the “wow” elements of the show are definitely the music and talent within the cast.

LA: What is your favorite aspect of the show?

RD: I love the scenes in the orphanage because there is a lot going on and it is fun to be part of the scenes.

LA: Tell us what is something that you are particular excited about this show coming to together? For example, a certain scene, costumes, set, lights, etc?

RD: I am excited to see the entire show come together and come to life.  It becomes so much more when everything and everyone comes together on stage.

LA: What is your favorite musical to watch? 

RD: “Cinderella” is my favorite musical to watch live.

LA: What is your favorite thing to do around the holidays?

RD: My favorite thing to do around the holidays is having “snack dinners,” drinking hot chocolate and watching Christmas movies.

LA: Which do you like better Annie the movie or the stage version?

RD: I definitely appreciate the stage version more because you can’t stop in the middle of a song but you can when making a movie.

LA: Where and how will you have the energy to do 24 shows?

RD: I will get my energy from all of the natural energy I have and, of course, from the magical power of candy!  I am always pumped and excited for things and am rarely tired.

LA: To date what is your favorite role that you have played and why?

RD: My favorite role that I have ever played is Kate, in Annie.  She is such a funny orphan and she gets to swing a dead rat in Miss Hannigan’s face and who wouldn’t love seeing THAT reaction!

LA: What is your dream character to play on stage?

RD: My dream role was to be Annie, but since that dream has recently been fulfilled, I would like to play Elfaba in Wicked.  It is such an amazing show with great music and I think it would be fun to be painted green!

LA: Please tell us a little bit about yourself?

RD: I am 12 years old.  I live in Columbus, MN with my mom, dad, brother, sister and two dogs.  In my spare time, besides doing theater, I love to sing, dance, run, crochet, read and do math.

Meet Rebekah Olson performing in Annie

Lyric Arts had a chance to interview Rebekah Olson, who is performing as Pepper in Annie. Read on to hear what she has to say about her experience thus far.

LA: Tell us a little bit about why this particular play interested you?

RO: Annie interested me because it is iconic. I knew I wanted to be in a show this fall, and what better production to be in then one that inspires people?

LA: For those that are unfamiliar with Annie can you tell us about the show?

RO: Annie is about an optimistic little girl who was orphaned and finds a better life for herself, even though it was not the one she was expecting.

LA: Talk about the character v(s) that you play in Annie. How have you developed this character?

RO: I am Pepper a.k.a. the bully orphan. The thing that helped me develop her personality the most was figuring out what her back story was. She is a very cold, closed off character, but only because she doesn’t trust people. If I was thrown into an orphanage that young, I wouldn’t trust anyone either. Having other people fear her works because then she does not need to let anyone in.

LA: Why should people come and see Annie?

RO: Because it is phenomenal.  One night during rehearsal we were talking about why we chose to audition for Annie and several people said it was because it was the first show they had seen when they were little and it inspired them. Not only is the choreography, humor, and staging outstanding, but the message infuses hope into your life.

LA: Talk about your fellow cast members, how do you see their characters developing? Any that you are particularly amazed at?

RO: The characters I have seen develop the most are the ensemble. No matter how short or seemingly minimal there part is, they have all put thought into every movement in word, and the ensemble makes our show top notch. The character I am most impressed with is Miss Hannigan. I have had the honor of working with Caroline, who plays Miss Hannigan before, and I don’t understand how so much talent is squeezed into one person.

LA: What do you feel are the "wow" elements of Annie?

RO: Although I believe that every single actor is important, our main little miss. Reagan is by far one of the most talented little girls and that is a huge blessing to have our leading lady be able to carry the show so professionally. Not only do we have an amazing lead but our choreography is stunning, and the costumes are spot on.

LA: What is your favorite aspect of the show?

RO: Annie is known for its dance numbers, and boy do we have dance numbers. I am not a trained dancer, but I do it anyway! The choreography that Jeff gave us captures the characters feelings, and the joy that we as actors get from it transfers right to the audience.

LA: Tell us what is something that you are particular excited about this show coming to together? For example, a certain scene, costumes, set, lights, etc?

RO: I am particularly excited for Easy Street. It is my favorite number in the show and Alicia, Adam, and Caroline do it justice.

LA: What is your favorite musical to watch?

RO: Les Miserable. Absolutely. 100%. All the way.

LA: What is your favorite thing to do around the holidays?

RO: Sing, of course. My grandma makes a mean Christmas dinner so I’m normally where the food and people are.

LA: Which do you like better Annie the movie or the stage version?

RO: I love the 1982 version of the film because of Carol Burnett, but as an audience member, I think that the stage version has more of an impact.

LA: Where and how will you have the energy to do 24 shows?

RO: In real life I am the oldest of the orphans, so I think I can suck up plenty of excess energy from my fellow orphans.

LA: To date what is your favorite role that you have played and why?

RO: My favorite role is actually one of the smaller roles I got which was Townsperson 2 in Rapunzel Uncut here at Lyric Arts. I enjoyed it because we were all equal in role size, we were able to perform for a ton of kids doing things from chase scenes to dance breaks, and we had a lot of fun.

LA: What is your dream character to play on stage?

RO: This is a tough one. I would love to play Eponine in Les Miserable, any of Sutton Foster’s roles, or Kim MacAfee in Bye Bye Birdie.

LA: Please tell us a little bit about yourself?

RO: I’m 15, I’m a sophomore, I am the worlds most extroverted homeschooler (true story), I have 3 amazing older sisters, 2 of which are married, a fantastic mom and dad, an insanely large extended family, my passion is singing, I have been acting for 5 years, I have a hamster named mouse, I have a Ukulele name kaffebønne (coffee bean in Norwegian), I don’t like pickles, and my favorite State Fair food is deep-fried candy bars.