‘Annie’ ready to warm Valley hearts

The Kaatza Lakeside Player’s rendition of the musical Annie opened Thursday at Centennial Hall in Lake Cowichan, and runs for two weekends.

The Kaatza Lakeside Player’s rendition of the musical Annie opened Thursday at Centennial Hall in Lake Cowichan, and runs for the next two weekends.

While this is the first time Isabella Atchison has played the title character in a play, she’s more excited than she is nervous.

“I like doing it. I like hanging out with everybody. It’s fun,” she said of acting in the production, which has 30 cast members of all ages and experience levels.

For Lindsay Anderson, who plays Miss Agatha Hannigan, the cruel orphanage matron, working with Atichson and the other children has been her favourite part of the show.

“I love any time I get to interact with the kids because you never know what you’re doing to get. It’s that keeping you on your toes,” she said.

Anderson grew up acting and has performed with the Kaatza Lakeside Players for 15 years, but it was through her current role as Miss Hannigan that she has overcome her longtime fear of singing on stage.

“I think the kids are really inspirational because they’ve got no fear,” she said. “So it’s really helped me to overcome my own fear just because they are truly fearless and they are the inspiration for me in doing this play.”

Terry Finch, who plays Oliver “Daddy” Warbucks, is no stranger to the stage, having starred in last year’s production of The Pirates of Penzance with the South Island Musical Theatre Society.

He said that musicals present several added challenges to actors such as musical cues and choreography in addition to memorizing lines and blocking.

Annie was first launched in 1976, but is set in depression-era New York City.

Annie runs April 7-9 and April 14-16 at 7:30 p.m. with an April 17 matinee at 2 p.m.