Theater for the people: The Black Box Players presents Annie

Charlottesville's only non-audition community theater company puts on crowdplease, Annie, starring children, adults, and a labradoodle played by Huckleberry Knox. Charlottesville’s only non-audition community theater company puts on crowdplease, Annie, starring children, adults, and a labradoodle played by Huckleberry Knox.

“‘Leapin’ lizards!’ You do not want to miss this show,” said MaryAnne Thorton, the director of The Black Box Players’ production of Annie, which will open tomorrow evening. Thorton has directed all of The Black Box Players’ shows since she founded the theater in 1986, and has also written scripts for several of its recent musicals.

The Black Box Players is Charlottesville’s only non-audition community theater for youth and adults, where the emphasis is on fun and “quality family entertainment at reasonable prices,” rather than competition.

The 70-person musical production of Annie is no exception. Eleven-year-old Kaitlin Burton and twelve-year-old Dani Miller will take turns starring in their “dream role” as the adventurous and lovable orphan Annie. With Tony-award winning music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Martin Charnin, and book by Thomas Meehan, the production’s popular musical numbers include “Tomorrow,” “Maybe,” “Fully Dressed,” “Together At Last,” and “Little Girls.” The talented cast of children also features eight-year-old Lauren Grady and six-year-old McKenzie Gatesman as the young orphan Molly.

Among the adult cast members are Charif Soubra as Oliver “Daddy” Warbucks, the man who opens his home and heart to Annie, and Carrie Soubra, as Miss Hannigan, the orphanage matron. Derek Duval plays Rooster, Miss Hannigan’s scheming younger brother, and Jackie Baylink plays his girlfriend, Lily. Grace Farrell, Daddy Warbucks’s secretary who has a soft spot for Annie, is portrayed by Whitney Gatesman, and Tom Wallace takes on the role of President Roosevelt in the search for Annie’s real parents.

Annie’s canine companion, Sandy, is played by Huckleberry Knox, a laidback, 75-pound labradoodle.

Tickets will be on sale in the lobby a half-hour before each performance, or can be reserved by emailing

5/10-5/19  $9, 7pm (3pm on Sundays). Burnley-Moran Elementary School, 1300 Long St. 970-7600.

Posted In:     Arts


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