Leaping Lizzards! Annie the Musical to open Aug 1-3 in Lagrange

Ignoring the age-old adage about not working with children or animals is working out quite well for Chicago-area producer Melanie Lamoureux as ANNIE THE MUSICAL prepares to open August 1-3 at BAMtheatre, now in its 13th season.


Laura Savage works with the NYC Ensemble for their performance of “I think I'm gonna like it here!”!

Featuring more than 90 local kids in the double-cast show, along with Annie’s irrepressible canine sidekick  “Sandy,” the four weekend performances create opportunities for a swathe of talented youth to shine on stage under the direction of professionally-trained staff.


“The most thrilling thing to witness as a theatre artist is the sheer passion that children possess for the stage,” says Melanie Lamoureux. “The young actors involved in this production are unique in their talents, and bring honesty, depth, and a revived spirit to the classic characters of Annie.”


Tourists are always excited to be in “N.Y.C.”!

Staged at Nazareth Academy in LaGrange, (1209 W. Ogden Ave.) tickets are available online at  www.bamtheatre.com for Friday, August 1 at 7pm; Saturday, August 2 at 2pm and 7pm, and Sunday, August 3 at 2pm with ticket prices ranging from $15-$18.


Hayley Johnson as ANNIE, Sarah Seidler as GRACE, and Tommy Schneider as DADDY WARBUCKS run lines for their first meeting!

ANNIE will present the timeless story and beloved songs of ANNIE THE MUSICAL(book byThomas Meehan music by Charles Strouse and lyrics by Martin Charnin).  The show is produced by Melanie Lamoureux, directed by Daniel Cassin, music direction by Peter Bromann and choreography by Laura Savage.

Inspired by the famous comic strip Little Orphan Annie which first ran in the New York News in 1924, ANNIEmade its Broadway debut in 1977 and played over 2,000 performances before closing in 1983. The show won seven Tony Awards and has been nominated for Best Musical Revival in both 1997 and 2013. This heart-warming musical is the rags-to-riches story of plucky young Annie's journey from the hard-knock New York orphanage to the luxurious home of billionaire businessman Oliver Warbucks. Boasting one of Broadway's most memorable scores, including "It's the Hard Knock Life," "Easy Street" and the legendary "Tomorrow," along with fantastically visual choreography and a side-splittingly funny script.


The Orphan Ensemble sing about their “Hard-knock Life”!

ANNIE is being produced through the BAM’s Youth Theatre Program, which teaches performance and love of musical theatre in a fun, energetic and professional manner.  More than one thousand kids have received training from BAMtheatre since its founding in 2011.  Through workshops, discussions, and master classes, BAM performers receive the best training and learn not only about performance, but every aspect of theatre.  For additional information, visit www.bamtheatre.com

The cast of BAMtheatre’s ANNIE includes: Hayley Johnson and Marie Claire Popernik as Annie; Tim Berberich and Tommy Schneider as Warbucks; Lily Chrones and Cecilia Podczerwinski as Miss Hannigan; as well as the beloved orphans, orphan ensemble and NYC ensemble that have come to define this classic piece.


Lily Chrones as MISS HANNIGAN can't catch a break during her performance of “Little Girls”!

Melanie Lamoureux, ANNIE’s producer, is the Founding Artistic Director of BAMtheatre and has directed over 20 productions including Into the Woods, Nine, and Chicago. Lamoureaux also serves as the Managing Director of the Jedlicka Performing Arts Center, where she recently directed Love Story and established and directed the JPAC Young Audience program, providing over 1,200 youth the opportunity to witness professional theatre right in their hometown. Melanie is on the Faculty of Fenwick High School and teaches the Honors Choir and Drama curricula.


Daniel Cassin, ANNIE’s director, is currently training to receive his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Drama from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Through BAMtheatre, Dan has been involved as a performer and director of Broadway Workshop Series and also served as the teaching artist for BAM’s winter audition workshop: Nailed It! An Audition Intensive.


Peter Bromann, ANNIE’s music director, comes from a diverse musical background having started singing in choirs at a young age. He has been involved with BAMtheatre since high school and has since transitioned into a full time staff member. His superb piano skills have landed him many prestigious accompanying jobs, including being hired to play for the Broadway National Tour auditions for Disney's The Lion King. He also plays and teaches regularly for organizations including The Theatre of Western Springs and Rising Stars.


Laura Savage, ANNIE’schoreographer, is a Chicago-based actress, singer, dancer, choreographer and gymnast who was nominated for the 2013 Non Equity Jeff Awards for Best Actress in a Musical for her accomplished performance of Percy in The Spitfire Grill (BoHo Theatre). Laura was also nominated two consecutive years by Broadway World for Best Actress in a Non-equity Musical for The Spitfire Grill and Hope in Urinetown  (Circle Theatre.) Laura has been the associate choreographer, dance captain, and featured teenage ingénues in Rachel Rockwell's productions of The Music Man (Zaneeta Shinn) and Hello, Dolly! (Ermengarde).  Other recent appearances include roles at the Paramount Theatre, Porchlight Music Theatre, and Drury Lane.

Photos courtesy of Jon Hellman

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