Gigi Ekstrom
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Ella Berry and Will Gorman as Annie and Warbucks. Photo by Edwin Neill.
On March 2, Lakehill Preparatory School's seventh and eighth grade musical theater students brought Annie, Jr. to the Lakehill stage.
Based on the popular comic strip and adapted from the Tony Award-winning Best Musical, with a beloved book and score by Tony Award-winners, Thomas Meehan, Charles Strouse, and Martin Charnin, Annie Jr. featured everyone’s favorite little redhead in her first adventure.
Ella Berry led the outstanding cast as Annie. Her singing voice and stage presence were perfectly in tune with Annie's pluck and positivity. Will Gorman displayed billionaire Oliver Warbucks's transformation from gruff businessman to loving father with great heart. Aleena Wallace was endearing as his faithful assistant, Grace Farrell. Megan Blomquist was a scene stealer as Lily St. Regis. Blomquist, Dasha Ramey as Miss Hannigan, and Spencer Neill as her con artist brother Rooster, provided a strong rendition of the classic "Easy Street" as well as great comedy. As Annie's lovable dog Sandy, Luke Williams was adorably loyal.
Ensemble member Madison Deason had a standout moment during "NYC," singing and tap dancing in her featured solo. The production also featured musical performances from Katherine Gluck on saxophone and Tristan Osang on piano. The ensemble of orphans had the audience singing along to the favorite "It's the Hard Knock Life."
The musical was co-directed by Mark Guerra and Tracy Herron. "This was my first year working on Lakehill’s Middle School Musical, and I couldn’t have been more pleased," said Guerra. "Mr. Herron and I are a great team, and together we were able to take these enthusiastic Middle School students and get them to create the 1930’s world of New York City as well as the most famous orphan in musical history. I am thrilled to find their hidden talents and to be able to put them in our shows. Musical Theater is a great way for these kids to really show us what they’ve got."

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About Lakehill Preparatory School

Lakehill Preparatory School guides motivated students to learn with curiosity, lead with confidence, and serve with compassion. Our challenging and nurturing educational community inspires students to become collaborative problem-solvers who live with integrity. Talented teachers, high academic standards, and the development of leadership skills in a challenging and nurturing environment are hallmarks of a Lakehill education.

The newly enhanced Main Campus offers students 16,000 square feet of new space and 8,000 square feet of renovated space. This vital effort produces new lab spaces for science, writing, and computer science, as well as a new art studio. It also provides new classrooms, administrative offices, and meeting and event rooms. A dramatic 5,000 square foot inner courtyard offers outdoor classroom and performance space.
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