I have so much to say about Monday night's rehearsal, and a whole lot more video to edit and work with, but it's taken several hours and tech consults (thanks, James!) and interventions to get this one short video up here. We WILL speed up the process!

This is at the end of rehearsal; other kids are rehearsing "NYC" in the dance studio about 15 feet away, and backstage, there's costume fitting. Here, the two Annies (Asa's in Cast A; Jaya's Cast B) rehearse their big songs. More coming soon!

As should be obvious by now, I'm not making it to the Thursday night rehearsals. Must engage my collaborators for end-of-the-week blogging.

6:29 pm, Timothy Wilcox is playing "Maybe," and the kids are starting to sing along. The two girls playing Annie have clearly bonded somewhat. Cast list below. I'm moving to CoverItLive so I can upload photos (& if luck allows, video; yeah, I still need to figure that out) more quickly. Also, all of y'all out there can follow Annie rehearsal in real time, which you know you want to.

6:34 pm ... And away we go!

Cast List
Annie Cast 2010 –

Cast A *** Cast B ***

Logan Auxier Silas Morrison
Jordan Dahl Joya Shapla
Makayla Sullivan Caroline Robinson
Haili Williamson Franny Stevens
Maddie Lincoln Denalee Johnson
Audrey Lux Baily Schaefer
Avery Monson Gillian Berglund
Ashley Schmittle Callia Varnon Welch
Eden Ray Kylie Scott
Aurora Ray Selena Hediger
Audrey Sparrow Alethea McCormack
Ruby Sutton Haylee Joseph
Emilyann Walker Tatyana Hediger
Elizabeth Walker Francesca Thuresson
Charlie Mclkrola-Dey Alex Goss
Ruby Mclkrola-Dey Addison Hancock
Phoebe Laws Ama Mykyta
Simone Laws Abby Schaefer
Savana Lindstrom Samantha Lawson

Principal Orphans
Cast A Cast B
Annie Asa Clevenger Jaya Rowelle
Pepper Emma Mowry Charlie Emery
Duffy Madeline Blumm Savannah Knight Meigs
July Devan Coombes Sarah Parsons
Molly Caitley Criswell Maggie Shidek
Tessie Olivia Buss Tatum Johnson
Kate Jordan King Chloe Hendrickson

Principal Characters: ***
Hannigan Sadie Waddell Taylor Doble
Rooster Aidan Ziegler Hansen Matthew Stevens
Lily Diamond Huynh Cassie Serra
Warbucks Chad Laws Corey Dalton
Grace Stefhani Anderson Çourtney Volta
Drake Jourdan Ross Jourdan Ross
Mrs Greer Jonique Koelblin Holley Flora
Mrs. Pugh Sabrina Gross Harper Johnson
Annette Nalin Sayvongsa Taylor Dalton
Cecille Olivia Nilsen Cortney Grant

Hooverville Denizens ***
Sophie Holley Flora Olivia Nilsen
Apple Seller Grace Gibson Grace Kelly
Dog Catcher Christopher Fornshell Tyler Goss
Bundles Amitabha Sarfatl Amitabha Sarfatl
Officer Ward Amitabha Sarfatl Amitabha Sarfatl

Radio Show ***
Bert Healy Conner Criswell Devin Rowelle
Wacky Devin Rowelle Conner Criswell

Cabinet ***
FDR Tyler Knotts Tyler Knotts
Howe Amitabha Sarfati Amitabha Sarfati
Ickes Hazel Herring Hazel Herring
Perkins Leilani Walker Leilani Walker
Morganthau Clara Berglund Clara Berglund
Hull Tyson Wedoff Tyson Wedoff

UPDATE: Raw "Hard-Knock Life" snippet

Annie director Eularee Smith and part of the cast teaching new children about stage directions. This one's upstage!

Back at Upstart Crow Studios for another rehearsal of Annie! Just took some raw video of director Eularee Smith talking about stage directions.

Now, she says, "We live in the land of no pockets!" She explains that if the kids onstage have pockets, their hands will be in them and they won't be ready to do anything. The kids laugh, but it's so true that anyone onstage (onscreen, etc.) will have a hard time figuring out what to do with her hands.

(A video of this will be attached when I can convince the blog it likes me, it really likes me.)

And now, Act One. Definitely some older kids on the side of the room, contradicting Smith's quite explicit directions from last week, pay no attention and talk, talk, talk. Parents and other kids keep trying to shush them, but it's not happening. Smith is focused on the stage, where the girls should be (pretending to be) asleep.

The two girls playing Molly (Mollie?) in separate casts have just tried to say their first line: "Momma! Momma! Mommy!" Smith says, "Oh my gosh, you sound like sick cows." (The photo is one of the girls saying the sick cow line.) They do a better job the second time.

The double cast keeps on going, with Pepper, Duffy and Annie double casts speaking at the same time. It's an eerie little stereo cast!

Smith just told the Mollies how to blow their noses. Giggles across the whole stage and in the unquiet audience.

...And I lost a fair amount of time trying to upload video, but Upstart Crow Artistic Director Sarah Beth Byrum is working with both casts on the choreography for "It's a Hard-Knock Life." (video tomorrow!)

(I only got video of Cast A for this one, which means next week I'll get some of Cast B.)

As the rest of rehearsal goes on, and Act One takes a bit of shape, the older kids (they're more like youth, not kids) playing Bundles the laundry man and Mrs. Hannigan take the stage. Aaaaand, I have to go before they get out of practice. Video and a few photos uploaded later or tomorrow!

"I Know It Sounds Complicated, But When We Get Into It,
You'll Find That It's Really Complicated."

I'm at Upstart Crow Studios, where executive director (and director of this production) Eularee Smith has begun the process of giving information to the parents and the kids in the double cast of March 6-7 & 12-13's Annie.

As the performing arts editor for the Weekly, I don't review children's theater, and I've been thinking about following a performance from auditions (which ran before Christmas, and which I tweeted a bit) to the final show. How did I pick this one instead of, say, a school play? That's for another blog post, but essentially, a convergence of time and opportunity and a staff (of Upstart Crow) that tweets and came to my attention with press releases and Twitter.

Read more following the jump!

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