‘Annie’ takes the stage Friday

Published 10:43 am Thursday, March 27, 2014

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By Matt Stuart
matt.stuart@vicksburgpost.com

While the sun may not be expected to come out tomorrow, one of America’s iconic Broadway musicals will be hitting the stage locally this weekend.
Students at Vicksburg High School will host two performances of Annie, the 1977 Broadway production based on the popular Harold Gray comic strip “Little Orphan Annie.”
Tracy Gardner, choir director at VHS, said the students have done well in rehearsals and is eager to see them take the stage.
“Rehearsals have gone really well,” she said. “We had several weather issues in January and February with the snow days. We were kind of worried with that, but we were able to get caught up. Everything turned out how we wanted.”

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Now in her sixth year at VHS, Gardner said she has been pleased with the growth of the group that features more sophomores and freshmen that she has had in previous years.
“They were kind of starting fresh on learning about theater and about commitment — as far as being up here three or four nights a week,” she said.
Gardner said she felt that the group had overcome the limitations of youth and are well-prepared. The biggest challenge, she said, is logistical.
“The main challenges we have is equipment,” she said. “Most everything we have, sound and lighting, is borrowed,” she said.
A pleasant surprise, though, she said, has been the performance of the students in the orchestra.
“For the first year, we’ve incorporated student musicians in the orchestra,” she said. “I hadn’t done that before but I want to say it’s gone pretty well. It hasn’t been as difficult as I expected.”
“That’s something I expected to be another issue, but it really hasn’t been. We plan to do it again next year,” she added.”
The original Broadway production ran for nearly six years, setting a record for the then-Alvin Theatre, now known as the Neil Simon Theatre, in New York.
The production spawned numerous productions in many languages and won a Tony Award for the Best Musical.”
VHS will host two performances, with the first one Friday at 7 p.m. and the second Saturday at 7 p.m.
Tickets are $7 and may be purchased at the door or reserved ahead of time.
To purchase tickets ahead of time, contact Gardner at 601-831-1807.