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Annie's star learns to belt out Tomorrow on RCT stage
For 11-year-old Maggie Barry of Sumner, it’s a dream of a young lifetime, playing that spunky orphan, “Annie.”
“I am so honored to play this role,” said Maggie, fulfilling a dream she’s had since age 5.
Maggie plays the title role in the Renton Civic Theatre’s production of “Annie,” that opens today (Friday).
The production of the classic music is part of Renton Civic’s 25th Anniversary Season.
“Annie’s” director, Laura Kessler, who is familiar to theater patrons as an actress and director, says Maggie “is kind of remarkable.”
And she’s dedicated. Kessler gave her a night off from rehearsal. Kessler says Maggie told her, “Oh, good, I can go to dance rehearsal.”
Now is “a great year” to do “Annie,” said Kessler, when the country is facing tough economic times similar to the ones Annie and the other characters face in the musical set in the Great Depression.
“All the same themes are there,” said Kessler.
But besides the bad economy, there are some bad people in “Annie,” too.
Annie is determined to find her parents, who abandoned her at a New York City orphanage overseen by the cruel Miss Hannigan. Using her own wits, Annie finds a new family with billionaire Oliver Warbucks and makes friends with President Franklin Roosevelt.
Kessler has worked with Seattle actor Patricia Haines-Ainsworth, who plays Miss Hannigan.
“She is one of my favorite parts of the show,” Kessler said.
“I really think it’s a story where the good people get what’s coming to them, the bad people get what’s coming to them,” Kessler said.
Annie is the “perfect little heroine,” in a play that creates a place where people want to live, she said.
Maggie, a Sumner Middle School sixth grader, has already been acting and performing for several years, including at the Village Theater in Issaquah and in a Sumner High School production of “The Sound of Music.” She played Gretel.
Maggie has prepared herself for “Annie,” taking “a lot of voice lessons” to get ready. “I wanted to be right on,” she said.
Singing the signature song, “Tommorow,” is “really hard,” she said. She describes herself as a “quiet singer,” but “Tomorrow” is belted out.
“It’s gotten easier over the course of time,” she said.
Someday, she wants to go to acting school in New York.
“It’s always been my dream to be on Broadway,” she said.
Her parents, Patrick and Cheryl Barry, are “incredibly proud” of their daughter, said Cheryl.
Some kids are just born to perform, she said. “She’s one of those.”
'Annie' at Renton Civic Theatre
The Renton Civic Theatre is presenting the classic musical, “Annie,” starting Friday, Dec. 7, as part of its 25th Anniversary season. The musical runs through Dec. 22 at the theater, 507 S. Third St., in downtown Renton. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $25 for adults and $20 for students and seniors. Tickets are available by calling the box office at 425-226-5529 or online at rentoncivictheatre.org