Springfield Junior Civic Theatre to present ‘Annie Jr.’

Credit: Brett Turner

Credit: Brett Turner

Never mind what the weather report says on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. You can bet your bottom dollar the sun will come out – at least at the John Legend Theater – where a spunky, curly redheaded girl and her faithful dog will have you looking forward to tomorrow.

“Annie, Jr.,” the musical adventures of the comic strip character Little Orphan Annie, will round out the Springfield Junior Civic Theatre’s season with a cast of 35 youngsters ages 7-16 singing, dancing and acting at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday and a matinee performance at 2 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are still available for all performances.

“Annie” has captivated audiences since the late 1970s in Tony-winning stage versions and in two movie versions with songs like “Tomorrow” and “It’s the Hard Knock Life” sticking in people’s heads and becoming mainstays in pop culture.

The familiar title became new for Monica Logan, a veteran director of adult and children’s theater productions, who is directing her first show for Springfield Civic Theatre.

“I’m excited, everyone has been so supportive. This show hasn’t been done here in a while, and I wanted to involve as many kids as we can from different areas,” she said.

Logan said to expect talent and fresh faces along with some familiar ones to the local stage.

As the story is focused on the title character, Logan had to make sure she had an actress who could carry that load, finding her in Eve Choi.

Her story is one almost tailor-made for a stage production. Choi, an 11-year-old homeschool student, sang the song “Maybe” from “Annie” for a Youth Arts Ambassadors show last fall.

She found the song fun and was looking for her next performance opportunity when a friend told her about Civic casting for “Annie, Jr.” and went for it, saying she is also outgoing like Annie.

“I really wanted it and was nervous and a little impatient waiting for the cast list and was really happy to get it,” said Choi. “I work hard for these things.”

She’s grateful for programs like this and the Youth Arts Ambassadors as being homeschooled limits activities and social interaction opportunities. This way she’s met new kids and they’ve grown together, which is a reason Choi hopes people will come out to watch the effort they’ve put into making “Annie, Jr.” an entertaining time at the theater.

“This cast has worked so hard. There are some really amazing voices,” Choi said.

Logan is gratified to have such a wide range of performers from lots of school districts and homeschool programs here and as far as Yellow Springs, Dayton and beyond who will deliver the familiar favorite title with a homegrown feel.

“This whole cast has shown good teamwork and been so cooperative, and the audience will recognize the songs and this story that has touched so many hearts,” said Logan.


What: “Annie, Jr.”

Where: The John Legend Theater, 700 S. Limestone St., Springfield

When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday May 16, and Friday, May 17 and 2 p.m. Saturday, May 18

Admission: adults $15, seniors, students and veterans $12 (a $2 service fee will be added to each ticket)

More info: www.springfieldcivictheatre.org/

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