Chattanooga Theatre Centre offers 'big musical' Annie for holiday theatergoers

Chattanooga Theatre Centre offers 'big musical' Annie for holiday theatergoers

December 6th, 2012 by Clint Cooper in Chattnow Art

Photo by Contributed Photo/Times Free Press.

IF YOU GO

• What: "Annie."

• When: Friday, Dec. 7-Sunday, Dec. 23. Curtain at 8 p.m. Fridays; 2:30 and 8 p.m. Saturdays (except 8:30 p.m. Dec. 8); 2 p.m. Sundays; 7 p.m. Thursdays.

• Where: MainStage, Chattanooga Theatre Centre, 400 River St.

• Admission: $10-$30.

• Phone: 267-8534.

• Website: TheatreCentre.com.

'ANNIE' EXTRAS

Special programming with "Annie."

• Friday, Dec. 7: Opening Night Gala, complimentary hors d'oeuvres and beverages, 7 p.m.

• Saturday, Dec. 8: Late curtain (8:30 p.m.) allows patrons to watch the city's lighted boat parade and fireworks from theater's deck, complimentary snacks and beverages, 7 p.m.

• Thursday, Dec. 13: Real-time captioning for deaf and hard-of-hearing patrons, 7 p.m.

• Friday, Dec. 14: Talk Back with cast and director following 8 p.m. show.

• Sunday, Dec. 16: Take photos of Annie and Sandy after the show, 2:30 p.m. (sold out).

• Friday, Dec. 21: Girls Night Out, with complimentary adult beverages and snacks, 8 p.m.

• Sunday, Dec. 23: Take photos of Annie and Sandy after the show, 2:30 p.m.

Chattanooga Theatre Centre has tied its Christmas present for theatergoers with a red bow.

Red as in the famous hair color of the title character in the musical "Annie," which opens on the MainStage on Friday, Dec. 7, and continues through Sunday, Dec. 23.

"It's got everything that people like," director Maria Chattin-Carter says, referring to top-notch songs, a lead with a "power voice," a variety of children, a problem that must be solved, a happy ending and even a dog.

The Tony Award-winning musical, with music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Martin Charnin and book by Thomas Meehan, is based on the "Little Orphan Annie" comic strip by Harold Gray.

The Depression-era musical focuses on Annie, a resident of an orphanage run by a mean-spirited, gin-swigging supervisor, and the unexpected invitation the youngster receives to spend Christmas with rich businessman Oliver Warbucks.

"Because it's 'Annie,' people expect a certain thing," says Chattin-Carter, who doubles as the choreographer. "This musical is a big musical, and we want to do it well."

The 27-member, all-ages cast has "clicked," she says. "They've enjoyed being around each other."

In a play with "so many good numbers," she says, 10-year-old lead Emmy McKenzie's singing of the signature song "Tomorrow," and the adults' "hilarious" "Easy Street" are among the highlights.

The score is so good, Chattin-Carter says, audience members may leave the show with as many favorites as there are songs.

In other lead roles are Scott Shaw as Daddy Warbucks, Thaddeus Taylor as Rooster, Laura Holland as Lily St. Regis, Jennifer Major as Grace Farrell and Scott Dunlap as Miss Hannigan. Andrew Chauncey is the musical director.

Contact staff writer Clint Cooper at ccooper@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6497. Subscribe to his posts online at Facebook.com/ClintCooperCTFP.