By Monique Carrasco / Staff Writer
By Monique Carrasco / Staff Writer
Performance Riverside, Riverside’s theatre and performing arts program, has put on yet another extraordinary show on Riverside City College’s stage.
Certainly everyone remembers the classic story of a young, spirited orphan in search of her parents; an orphan who taught us that it’s a “hard knock life,” but things will turn out alright, because “tomorrow is only a day away.”
This little girl is none other than Annie, star of the film which won the hearts of millions with her charm, her courage, and most of all, her voice.
For anyone who has for some crazy reason not seen or heard of this film or the Broadway original, it is just about as theatrical as films come, and it is a musical; one with songs and musical numbers that are not so easy to perform.
With that being said, every person involved in the production of this play should most definitely be applauded.
The choreographers, the make-up artists, the costume-designers, the director, the live orchestra, everyone in between, and needless to say, the performers all worked together to create two hours of magic on the stage.
These performers had their work cut out for them on so many different levels.
Not only must they memorize lines and act out scenes as any movie actor would do, they also had to learn dance routines and sing tremendously famous Broadway style songs.
Not to mention the fact that everything is live and continuous- if anything goes wrong, there are no second takes, and there will be no editing or voiceovers.
Forgotten lines, stumbling, tripping, voices cracking-unacceptable, for as they say in theater, the show must go on.
Fortunately, opening night was a success for Performance Riverside, as the play seemed to go on flawlessly.
This was certainly to be expected of the older, more experienced performers, but the biggest surprise of the night was the professionalism displayed by all of the younger girls.
There were about 13 girls of varying ages in the production.
They primarily played the roles of Annie’s friends from the orphanage, and each one, as young as she was, sang and danced with just as much passion and personality as the most seasoned adult performer.
David Aldrete, who played the part of Oliver Warbucks, said his favorite part of his experience with “Annie” had to be working with such wonderful talents.
“As prepared as we felt we were, adding an audience on Opening Night was a third element no one could be completely ready for,” said Natasha Harris, who played Grace Farrell.
But she felt that everyone did very well, and was proud of the performance the girls gave, though Harris said with those voices, she was not exactly surprised.
The quality of the girls’ performance at such young ages must be due in part to their love and appreciation of theatre.
As young as they are, most of these girls have been in several musicals before this one, and all hope to be in many, many more.
“I started out dancing in preschool. Then I realized I also enjoyed singing, and when I was eight, I saw a flyer for the musical production of School House Rock, got a part in that, and went from there,” said Talia Atallah, who played July.
There were obviously some high expectations for this play, considering how familiar everyone is with the film, but with a whole lot of charisma and a whole lot of talent, Performance Riverside was able to create their own fantastic interpretation of “Annie.”