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Thursday, November 15, 2018

Centenary Stage Company’s Family Holiday Spectacular is ‘Annie the musical’

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This holiday season everyone’s favorite orphan, Annie, joins Centenary Stage Company for the Family Holiday Spectacular production of Annie the musical. Annie opens November 23 and runs in Centenary Stage Company’s Lackland Performing Arts Center until December 9.

Based on the popular comic strip by Harold Gray, Annie has become a worldwide phenomenon and was the winner of seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical. The beloved book and score by Tony Award winners, Thomas Meehan, Charles Strouse and Martin Charnin, features some of the greatest musical theatre hits ever written, including "Tomorrow." With equal measures of pluck and positivity, little orphan Annie charms everyone's hearts despite a next-to-nothing start in 1930s New York City. She is determined to find the parents who abandoned her years ago on the doorstep of a New York City Orphanage that is run by the cruel, embittered Miss Hannigan. With the help of the other girls in the Orphanage, Annie escapes to the wondrous world of NYC. In adventure after fun-filled adventure, Annie foils Miss Hannigan's evil machinations... and even befriends President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. She finds a new home and family in billionaire, Oliver Warbucks, his personal secretary, Grace Farrell, and a lovable mutt named Sandy.

Featuring a cast of over 60 performers from New Jersey, New York City and beyond, Centenary Stage Company’s production of Annie is directed by Broadway, film and television veteran Michael Blevins.  Blevins has appeared in several Broadway productions including Bring Back Birdie, Neil Simon's Little Me, and The Tap Dance Kid in which he originated the role of Winslow Alexander. He has appeared in the Tony Awards Show, as well as many other television shows, feature films and TV commercials, and is widely known for his portrayal of Mark in Sir Richard Attenborough's film A Chorus Line. He is also featured in Chaplin. He is also the director of the new Musical Theatre Works Academy and has worked with many noted directors and choreographers, among them Danny Daniels, Bob Fosse, Woody Allen, Vivian Matalon, Joe Layton, Lynn Taylor-Corbett and Peter Gennaro. He has choreographed music videos for Amy Grant, five national commercials as well as the off- Broadway production of The Mad Forrest, and his own show, the Musical Count to Ten at New York's Musical Theatre Works.  Blevins also serves as director of Centenary Stage Company’s Young Performers Workshop. 

Bad_Dates resz_poseThe cast includes Broadway veteran Liz McConahay Wanfried (Scotch Plains, NJ) as Miss Hannigan. McConahay Wanfried’s Broadway credits include “The Full Monty” (Estelle), “Cabaret” (Fraulein Kost), and “Titanic” (Alice Beane), and she has appeared in numerous commercials and television episodes. Centenary Stage Company audiences may remember McConahay Wanfried from the World Premiere of Neena Beber’s “The Dew Point” and Theresa Rebeck’s “Bad Dates” at CSC (photo right). Osborn Focht (Hoboken, NJ) returns to Centenary Stage Company as Daddy Warbucks. A CSC favorite, audiences will remember Focht from his memorable performances in “A Christmas Carol” (Scrooge) and “Peter Pan” (Captain Hook) among many others. Centenary Stage Company also welcomes back Justin Boccitto (New York, NY) as Rooster and Alycia Kunkle (Hoboken, NJ) as Grace Ferrell. CSC audiences will remember Boccitto from his performances in “Mary Poppins” (Bert) and his own show “Song and Dance Men”, which had a limited run as part as CSC’s 2017/18 Fringe Festival. Kunkle’s CSC credits include “A Christmas Carol” (Mrs. Cratchit), “The Ladies Man” (Yvonne) and “Becky Shaw” (Suzanna). Grace Nagel (Hackettstown, NJ) is making her professional debut as the title character, Annie. Eleven year old Nagel has been participating in Centenary Stage Company’s Young Performers Workshop for several seasons.

Centenary Stage Company’s annual Family Holiday Spectacular is a celebration of all Centenary Stage Company programming, by combining the talents of professional guest artists alongside local talent, Centenary University faculty, staff, students and students of the Young Performers Workshop programming. 

All performances will be held in the Sitnik Theatre of the Lackland Performing Arts Center at 715 Grand Ave. Hackettstown, NJ from November 23 through December 19.  Individual performance dates are Fridays, November 23, 30 and December 7 at 8PM; Saturdays, November 24, December 1 and 8 at 8PM; Sundays, November 25, December 2 and 9 at 2PM; Wednesday, November 28 at 2PM and Thursdays, November 29 and December 6 at 7:30PM. Ticket prices are $29.50 for adults and $20.00 for children under 12 for matinee and Friday evening performances.  Saturday evening performances are $32.00 for adults and $20.00 for children under 12.  Thursday evening performances are $29.50 for ALL SEATS with a Buy One/Get One Rush Ticket Special when purchased at the Centenary Stage Company box office in person as early as two hours prior to performance time.  BOGO Rush Ticket Special is not valid for advance ticket sales and not available via phone or internet sales. Centenary Stage Company also offers a variety of special discounts for groups, buffet matinees, scout troops, Centenary University alumni and special student rush ticketing. Terms and conditions apply. Contact the CSC box office directly for more information.

For more information or to purchase tickets visit centenarystageco.org or call the Centenary Stage Company box office at (908) 979 – 0900.  The box office is located in the Lackland Performing Arts Center at 715 Grand Ave. Hackettstown, NJ.  The box office is open Monday through Friday from 1 – 5 pm and two hours prior to each performance.  Centenary Stage Company can also be found across social media platforms; Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.  Like and follow to receive the latest in Centenary Stage Company news and special offers.

The 2018-2019 season of performing arts events at the Centenary Stage Company is made possible through the generous support of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the NJ State Council on the Arts, the Shubert Foundation, the Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation, the Sandra Kupperman Foundation, and CSC corporate sponsors, including Premier Season Sponsor Heath Village Retirement Community, The House of the Good Shepherd, Silver Sponsors Hackettstown Medical Center, Home Instead Senior Care (Washington), Fulton Bank of New Jersey, and Centenary Stage Company members and supporters.

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