Friday can technically be ruled a sell out, as there were precious few balcony seats left last night for the opening night of Annie. The official count is being listed as 277 delighted audience members who packed into the Joan Kuyper Farver Auditorium and gave a standing ovation to Rachel Peter and the rest of the cast on opening night.
The show went without any major glitches. There were the various and sundry mishaps that happen in almost any performance. A spilled tray of water here, a slipped line there. I especially thought it was cute when Annie called me “President Roosevelt” in the final scene before she caught herself. My favorite moment of the night was, however, when I was talking to the President on the phone with cigar in hand. When I slammed my hand on the desk, the cigar which has been drying out on stage for several weeks disintegrated into a puff of flying tobacco debris (Gotta remember to have Drake get that humidor fixed!).
Biggest cast ever?
Yesterday I encouraged people to count the number of cast members in Annie. Some people actually did. The cast of Annie numbers 78. Director Cyndi Atkins reminded me that it might have been 80 but a few actors had to drop out of the cast.
Special Guests in the Audience
In last nights audience were two board members of the Iowa Community Theater Association (ICTA) who came to town to judge the show for ICTA’s annual community theater awards. Stay tuned to www.unionstreetplayers.com for any further news on that front in the months ahead.
- Tonight will be opening night for Hannah Emmert who takes over the reins of the lead role. Break a leg, Hannah!
- USP is proud to offer the opportunity for people who have never been on stage before to get a taste of live theatre. Over 30 of the 78 cast members in Annie are making their USP stage debut, and many of them are on stage for the first time (or the first time in many years).
- Speaking of stage debuts, the youngest cast member of Annie is Madeline Kelly. Madeline, at 11 weeks old, isn’t even old enough to say she’s “cutting her teeth” on stage. Madeline is the daughter of Mat and Anne McCullough Kelly. Look for Madeline and her mom in the Hooverville chorus!
- Being in a USP show is also a family affair for many people. Glancing over the program you can find about 15 parent/child pairs on stage. There are more family couplings if you add siblings and spouses!
As of last night, there remain balacony seats available for both shows this weekend! We recommend you come to the Pella Community center a half-hour before curtain to purchase your ticket. The ticket table is located in the hallway right outside the auditorium.