Seven children from Louisville will be thrust into the spotlight this August in the timeless rags-to-riches musical â€œAnnie,â€ presented by Derby Dinner Playhouse.
Showing now through Aug. 12, local child actors, along with seasoned adult veterans and children from the Indiana area will dazzle audiences with stunning song and dance routines while delivering a heart-warming message of love and hope.
The Voice-Tribune caught up with some of the showâ€™s rising talent to find out more about the iconic musical and what they love most about the story of Americaâ€™s favorite redhead.
For showtimes and information on â€œAnnie,â€ call 812.288.8281 or visit www.derbydinner.com.
â€“ Ashley Anderson, Staff Writer
Bailey Pierce, 11 (Duffy)
Did you know the story of â€œAnnieâ€ before the show? What do you like most about the story?
Yes, I knew the story because two years ago I was in the orphan chorus of Annie that Music Theatre Louisville did. I had also seen the movie. I like that the story is so optimistic and that thereâ€™s hope for everyone.
Lauren Petrey, 14 (Annie)
To play Annie, did you have to dye your hair for the show? How does it feel to be a redhead?
Yes, I did cut and dye my hair for the show. I was a bit nervous about it at first because I didnâ€™t know how red would look on me, but it turned out just fine. I like being a redhead! It makes me feel … spunky. My friends and family like it as well. They didnâ€™t get to see me before my first performance, so the red hair was a bit shocking at first! But theyâ€™ve learned to love it.
Carolyn Dodd, 8, youngest cast member (Molly)
How far did you have to travel to attend rehearsals throughout the week? How often did you rehearse?
Thirty minutes each way. It has taken longer since the bridge is being worked on but thatâ€™s OK. I was excited about going and wanted to leave early to get there. We rehearsed every day for two weeks except Sundays. It was cool because some days we left after it was dark outside.
Kelly Claire Gray, 11 (July)
Whatâ€™s it like working with someone else whoâ€™s also playing your role? Do you all help each other rehearse?
I like that the part is double cast. We did rehearse together and it is comforting to know that someone else is there in case there is an emergency and I canâ€™t make it to the show.
JonMarie Johnson, 12 (Tessie)
What has it been like working with a cast of people your age, along with adult actors?
(I enjoy) working with the adult professional actors, and learned so much from them. (I have) also enjoyed the choreography from Heather. As far as the young actors, (I have) made some lifetime friends from â€œAnnieâ€ as well as â€œThe Sound of Musicâ€ at Derby Dinner last year.
Taylor Thomas, 13 (Duffy)
Whatâ€™s your favorite song in â€œAnnieâ€?
Oooh, tough question, I like â€œHard Knock Life,â€ â€œHooverville,â€ â€œEasy Street,â€ â€œTomorrow;â€ I really like them all.
Ava Hundley, 10 (Pepper)
Is this your first time working with Derby Dinner Playhouse? What do you like about working with the company?
This is my first time working with Derby Dinner. I like that Derby Dinner is very professional, that we all stay on task, and I work with REALLY nice people!Â It feels like home!
Itâ€™s only fitting a musical about family would feature four talented relatives among the showâ€™s cast and crew. Heather Folsom and sister Holly, along with cousin Brittany Carricato and Hollyâ€™s daughter Kennedy Kruse will come together this summer in â€œAnnie,â€ presented by Derby Dinner Playhouse.
This isnâ€™t the first time â€œAnnieâ€ has been a part of the kinâ€™s life, however. Nearly three decades ago, Heather and Holly were featured in a local article after the two entered an orphan Annie look-alike contest. Though neither won the top honor, the two now have the chance to help bring the musical to life, all while sharing the moment with family.
â€œI had never been in the show â€˜Annie,â€™â€ Heather said. â€œThis is my third time choreographing it, but there is nothing that brings me more joy than seeing my niece live out that dream. It literally brings tears to my eyes.â€
Heather, who opened Folsom Academy for the Arts with father J.D. 15 years ago, serves as the resident choreographer at Derby Dinner Playhouse, while cousin Brittany is a featured dancer and member of the â€œAnnieâ€ ensemble. Holly, a stylist in Versailles, Ky., was asked to cut and color the hair of her 10-year-old daughter Kennedy, who will play the lead role of the beloved redhead, Annie.
Itâ€™s a collaboration thatâ€™s never happened before in their family, but one theyâ€™re excited to experience. And, for Kennedy it makes acting a little bit easier standing alongside her relatives, as well as her new family in the show.
â€œWorking with my family makes me feel very comfortable because they are always there for me if I need help,â€ Kennedy said. â€œThe rest of the cast has become family to me as well. They are all so nice to me and I love being with them.â€